+ Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Using wood chucked into dumpsters and salvaged from shuttered homes, Ben McBrien manages to make sculptures that look for all the world like Wharton Esherick pieces.
That’s because the founder of the Kensington-based company Farmhaus is obsessive about finding the perfect lumber. He has friends who call him whenever they spot a good piece of wood while tearing down and renovating homes. He has a guy from Lancaster who hooks him up with timber from fallen trees. And when McBrien sees a nice piece of wood on the side of the road, he can’t pass that up, either.
“I’m a hoarder,” he says.
In the exhibit “A Collection of Shared Objects,” McBrien is displaying his wooden surfboards, skateboards and cutting boards. But he also crafts bed frames, cabinets, tables, rings and necklaces.
His oeuvre is diverse, in part, because he refuses to throw away materials. Instead, he just makes smaller and smaller objects — like jewelry — until all the wood is gone.
McBrien doesn’t see himself as an environmentalist, exactly.
“I was just kind of raised to do what you can do with what you have,” he says. “It’s also about honoring the wood and the trees.”
Through Oct. 31, opening Fri., Oct. 4, 6 p.m., 116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, artintheage.com.
+ Fabric Workshop and Museum
Street artist Mario Ybarra Jr. is the real deal. In the 1990s, his former crew’s tag was “B.O.D.” And his show, “Books Of Drawings, Beyond Our Dreams, Blame Our Dads, Brains On Drugs, Better Off Dead,” is one of the cooler things that the Fabric Workshop and Museum has exhibited in a while. It features several large-scale, very Californian pieces.
Through fall 2013, reception Fri., Oct. 4, 6 p.m., 1214 Arch St., 215-561-8888, fabricworkshopandmuseum.org.