Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present It’s Wild Here, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Martha Rich. A vibrant display of painted cutouts on wood chronicles the artist’s practice of eavesdropping and observation while underscoring the unique character of the city and its people.
As an MFA student at the University of Pennsylvania, Rich developed her now signature artistic process of listening and documenting the pithiest, most memorable, or most relatable tidbits of conversations she overheard on the 40 bus route on her way to school. Rich depicts the quirks and colors of Philadelphia through her favorite phrases and overheard “Phillyisms,” presenting them in a hand-painted array of speech bubbles, painted on found plywood and cut with a scroll saw. The text-based pieces are complemented by a series of objects, animals, and symbols rendered in the same technique.
For her first solo exhibition in Philadelphia, Rich celebrates the city in the tradition of other local compilations, such as the DIY publication “The Secret Admirer” and projects like “Plaque to the Future”. In It’s Wild Here, the artist captures the personality of the place through the words of its people, inviting visitors to take part in a distinctly Philly conversation.