Tag Archive | Don Porcella

Xavier Lockett Exhibits Original Pipe Cleaner Art with Don Porcella!

Blue Dragon and X Hat
Blue Dragon By Xavier Lockett with X Hat By Don Porcella (All Photos By Gail)

Thursday night opening receptions in the Chelsea Gallery District are always a lot of fun for art fans, but last night the hottest exhibit on the Westside was Xavier Lockett and Don Porcella’s Dual Pipe Cleaner Art Exhibit at Ozaneaux Artspace. This exhibit has an excellent back-story.

Xavier and Sculpture
Xavier and one of his Pipe Cleaner Sculptures

Xavier Lockett, an 18-year old from Central Florida, has been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition and he is currently recovering from a kidney transplant. Xavier has always wanted to dedicate his life to being a professional artist working with pipe cleaners, but never believed he would be able to live out his dream. Was it even possible to be a professional pipe cleaner artist? Those were Xavier’s thoughts when he came across the artwork of Don Porcella on the Internet while working with Make-A-Wish Foundation. Don is, of course, a fine artist whose medium is pipe cleaners. You’ve seen his work here on The Gig!

Rainbow Eagle
Rainbow Winged Eagle Holding Diamond Encrusted Skull by Don Porcella

Upon discovering Don’s Pipe Cleaner sculptures, it became the young, aspiring artist’s one true wish to meet Don Porcella. Make-A-Wish contacted Don and asked him to write a letter of encouragement to Xavier while he recovered from his surgery, giving him tips on how to become a professional artist.

White Bread and Action Figure
White Bread By Don and Action Figure by Xavier

Don offered instead to have Xavier fly to New York City and work alongside him in his studio, where he could teach Xavier his techniques and processes, awakening Xavier’s imagination and opening him up to new possibilities. How awesome is that?

Mulitple Action Figures
Multiple Action Figures By Xavier Lockett

The work they created together was exhibited last evening at a one-night only celebration on West 20th Street. Ozaneaux Artspace is an alternative venue dedicated to supporting emerging artists and championing social change, and the owners, Nikki and Fred, graciously donated the space for last night’s show. All of Xavier’s work was up for sale and 100% of the proceeds went directly to Xavier.

Art Dealer and Action Figure
Art Dealer By Don and Action Figure By Xavier

There was a huge turn out for the exhibit and everyone had fun checking out Xavier’s cool action figures rendered in colorful pipe cleaners. The main attraction of the show though was a large blue Dragon created by Xavier, which was displayed alongside a pipe cleaner Baseball Cap emblazoned with an “X” that Don made especially for his protégé. It was a great night for both artists and everyone involved and attending the exhibit. Thanks to Don and Ginger Porcella and the folks at Ozaneaux Artspace for making Xavier’s wish come true!

Blue Dragon
Here’s another shot of that amazing Blue Dragon!

Don Porcella Self Portrait
Don Porcella Self Portrait

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Everything and Nothing at All: New Works by Don Porcella


Click On Any Image to Enlarge for Detail

Artist Don Porcella currently has a Solo Exhibition of new and favorite works – featuring both his trademark pipe cleaner sculptures and his hand made encaustic paintings– at Spattered Columns Exhibition Space, a venue for NYC- based artists and curators without commercial gallery representation, which is run by Art Connects New York. You may have read about Don’s awesome art previously here at The Gig or elsewhere: his work is always thought provoking and a lot of fun.

At Spattered Columns you can see a few of Don’s larger, multi-component installations such as There You Remain in the Drain of the Mainframe Food Chain; a large and very engaging tableau depicting a couple relaxing in their backyard swimming pool accompanied by their snacks, cans of beer, and pet rats. The detail in this work is amazing! I also really dug Making Room for New Ideas: The Destruction of the Readymade, for which Don created woven pipe cleaner replicas of several Modern/Contemporary Art masterpieces including Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box and Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull – all of which are set ablaze atop a pipe cleaner log pyre. Don’s famous series of clever pipe cleaner Action Figures in their hand made cello bag packaging is represented and you can also see one of his best known larger pipe cleaner sculptures, The Art Dealer and His Artist at the Spattered Columns exhibit. The space is also a really cool, open loft with lots of natural light and a nice downtown vibe, so make a point to check it out!

Everything and Nothing at All is on Exhibit through October 28, 2011 at Spattered Columns Exhibition Space, 491 Broadway (corner of Broome Street) 5th Floor, NYC. Hours are Monday -Thursday, Noon to 6:00 PM or by Appointment by Calling 646-546-5334.

What Works: An ArtStar Pop-Up Exhibition to Open for Three Days Only!


Todd Knopke, Chapel (2010) (Top)

Katherine Newbegin, Hotel Slavija, Belgrade, Serbia (2009) (Bottom)

ArtStar.com, seller of affordable, collectible art prints, will be hosting their first pop-up show in their unique gallery space on the Lower East Side later this week, and it should be one of the summer’s not-to-be-missed art events. What Works features the art of six artist couples who explore the influence they have on each other. Each artist will present a work that reflects, either consciously or unconsciously, the influence of his or her partner. The show includes photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, video, tapestry, baked goods, and alien encounters from ArtStar and Little Collector artists and their talented paramours who will take over the ArtStar gallery space for a three day exhibition. ArtStar Creative Director Rich Hendricks is excited to bring this show to the public. “Having launched ArtStar.com just over five months ago, it is our mission to create new opportunities for artists and collectors. Transforming our office space into a temporary gallery to showcase our artists and curators is just another platform for more art lovers and collectors to engage with contemporary art.”

Participating artist couples include:

Kate Sullivan & David Levinthal
Langdon Graves & Nick Van Woert
Erin Kornfled & Charlie Schultz
Ginger Schulick & Don Porcella
Katherine Newbegin & Todd Knopke
Colette Robbins & Micah Ganske

Don Porcella, widely known for his fantastic pipe cleaner sculptures, participates in the show along with his fiancée, curator Ginger Shulick. Don offered the following statement that What Works “is a great idea for an exhibition, because it explores the relationship between partners and how it relates to their artistic practice. For me, I really love being in a relationship with Ginger Shulick. She has the best ideas and she really understands what it means to be creative. Ginger is a great supporter of the arts and artists in particular. She really fosters their growth and pushes them to make the best work possible. We constantly talk about art and through these discussions new ideas emerge. We are both very critical about art and that criticism helps me push myself. It also creates a context for me when thinking about where my art might go and be seen. Since Ginger is primarily a curator, I get to see the world through her eyes and this helps me a great deal when thinking about how my work will fit into an exhibition.”

I think What Works sounds like a unique and fun exhibit. I’ll see you there on Thursday!

The Opening Reception for What Works: An ArtStar Pop-Up Exhibition Takes Place on Thursday July 14, 2011 from 6 – 9 PM, With Viewings By Appointment from July 15 – 17, 2011, at ArtStar’s Space, located at 195 Chrystie Street 801B, New York NY 10002. Email chrissy@artstar.com or Call 917-710-5509 for more information or to arrange to see the art after Thursday’s Opening.

Ginger Schulick, Extra Terrestrial (Childhood Drawing 1986), Crayon on Construction Paper (Top)

Don Porcella, Extra Terrestrial (2009), Encaustic on Wood (Bottom)

The Pipe Cleaner Art of Don Porcella


Artist Don Porcella and Geoffrey – Cute! (Image Source)

Do you remember doing arts and crafts back in elementary school, and the teacher would give you a handful of colored pipe cleaners and you were supposed to make art out of them? I think I used to make stick people or stick dogs or a stick house, just meaningless crap, really. But you know, it was fun to twist those colored pipe cleaners and imagine you were making some kind of neat thing that your Mom would think was cool enough to tack onto the family fridge. Nostalgia! Well guess what, some people actually have enough talent and imagination make real actual art of out pipe cleaners. One of those individuals is artist Don Porcella, who Geoffrey and I had the pleasure to meet this past Saturday evening when we were gallery hopping in Chelsea.

Over at the Claire Oliver Gallery (located at 513 West 26th Street) Don has a bunch of his tiny pipe cleaner sculptures on display upstairs plus one life-sized work entitled An Art Dealer and his Artist, which depicts an art dealer with a pet artist (Don) on a leash. Clever!

Geoffrey and I spent some time talking to Don and he is super friendly and nice. Don explained that the Artist sculpture (on display in the downstairs gallery) is made out of 25,000 woven pipe cleaners! It should be on display through late June. You can see more of Don’s art, which is really cool and fun, on his blog, Don Porcella Blogspot. Thanks Don for being awesome!

Don Also Made These Pipe Cleaner Sneakers!