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Review: Awful Vile Gross Rotten

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Work by Vincent Romaniello is on view at SpaceCamp.
  • Work by Vincent Romaniello is on view at SpaceCamp.

3.5 stars

SpaceCamp MicroGallery; through Oct. 30.

In this show, Philadelphia-based artist Vincent Romaniello takes small things that we see each day, like potato chip bags and drinking straws, and makes outsized 3D replicas inspired by them. But pay just as much attention to the 2D works on display here.

Right at the entrance of SpaceCamp, you see a pink slip the size of a body bag. It reads "We regret to inform you that your position at this company has been terminated. Blah. Blah. Blah." Suggested here is both the dehumanizing nature of the corporate firing process and its outsized impact on a recipient's sense of self-worth.

Another blow-up painting, this time inspired by commercial art found on packaging material, is painted with the logo "Sunny." You also see, in this acrylic on paper work sheathed in clear plastic, wholesome portraits of a smiling mom with her son holding a beach ball. (Romaniello's a damn-good portrait artist, by the way.) But this happy beach scene is undercut by the plethora of extra symbols — x's, o's, and triangles that suggest dire warnings.

You might think with such oversized work on display, the tiny SpaceCamp space would feel cramped. Not so. The venue allows you to see this work, which often reflects the fraught (if not exactly rotten or gross) state of contemporary American culture, up close in a super-intimate setting.

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