Portrait of controversial artist and activist N.A. Poe by artist Dan Kiselev.

Controversy starts today

Philadelphia’s newest exhibition at the Philadelphia Visionary Arts Gallery aims to shine a light on some of the polemic topics coursing through our current culture.

While the exhibition’s Facebook page requests, “Leave your bias at the door and push out of your comfort zone,“ Philadelphia Visionary Arts Gallery owner Eli Klein tells me that, “the show is a spotlight on controversial people and themes in our time. We wanted to connect the art to reality by having a series of portraits made and having those portraits present at an actual show. This makes the art real and the exhibition as much a piece of the art as the artwork.” 

To Klein, such levels of controversy means freshly painted portraits of Colin Kaepernick and Milo Yiannopoulus, along with N. A. Poe’s face on display.

Here is Klein’s FB post on the showcase:

What isn’t controversial these days?

Controversial figures are everywhere and people are more polarized than they have ever been before.

Politics. Human Rights. Identity. War. Love.

What is right? What is wrong? Everything is Perception.

One thing is certain: regardless of your beliefs, standing up for what you believe in and speaking your mind are becoming increasingly rebellious (and sometimes even dangerous) acts.

Censorship is everywhere, and the road to enlightenment is often confusing and full of pitfalls. Are we making the right decisions in our journey?

At PVAG, we believe that Art is the perfect lens from which to view controversial themes like these. At this exhibition, we aim to shine a light on some of the polemic topics coursing through our current culture. Furthermore, we celebrate those who are brave enough to stand up speak their minds – even when it has cost them much to do so. 

This show will include original artworks by:

— Dan Kiselev

— _Space_Bones_

— Eli Klein

— Skeezus

— Jess Boobs

Musical entertainment provided by:



Rob Potter the Saxophone Wizard

Jay Lubes

We have reached out to some prominent figures to be involved in this show to be keenly connected with the subject matter at hand.

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