Tiger Strikes Asteroid celebrates five years with lots of love

How do we love TSA? Let us count the ways. And no, we are not talking about the Transportation Security Administration, although the acronym likeness has always been as dissonant as it has been entertaining. July marks the five-year anniversary of Philadelphia- (and now also Brooklyn) based artist-run exhibition space Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and with it, their show “To Tiger, With Love” which features some 20 current and former members, as well as a snazzy poster featuring Sidney Poitier. Each has a small work on display, most for sale at $200, the proceeds of which go directly to the space for future operations and events.

Although the dimensions of the artworks are relatively consistent throughout the show, the smattering of styles and insights proves what TSA has time and time again; they provide for the thoughtful production and exhibition of art from a pool of talented makers.

Jaime Alvarez, “Tee-Grey.”

Jamie Alvarez, for instance, takes the gallery’s powerful yet abstract name to somewhat literal ends with “Tee-Grey.” A photo of a yellow toy tiger demands the focus in this piece, especially because its back half is coated in a shimmering layer of gold. Its ferocity paired with a futurist sheen makes for a menacing foe, if not for the fact that it is clearly a hunk of molded plastic. It strides across a bed of rock as stars dot the dark background, ready to pounce from its drifting, interplanetary home. Think an asteroid impact isn’t bad enough? Well this one is also infested with robotic carnivores too.

Rachael Gorchov, "To TSA with love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, back to NYC."

Rachael Gorchov, “To TSA With Love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, Back to NYC.”

Paint and photo montage are Rachael Gorchov’s materials of choice for “To TSA With Love: Oregon Ave. to Chinatown, Back to NYC.” Clouds mingle with thick brushstrokes of gouache, and the decaying industrial train remnants of Chinatown meet South Philly and New York in a mess of metal, urban plant life and a glowing glob of sunny yellow.

Terri Saulin Frock, "Thin Cities."

Terri Saulin Frock, “Thin Cities.”

The three-dimensional, porcelain scaffolds of Terri Saulin Frock do well to counter both the real-life mashups of Gorchov with imaginary places, and the mostly two-dimensional images in the show with a busy mess of beams, bars and other building materials. The flat sheet of glazed ceramic that these structures hang from looks almost like a sheet of paper in its cut, referencing many of the others which are actually composed on paper. Whether intentional trickery or not, the depth and texture of this piece make it stand out while its backing connects it to many of the other works that surround it.

Per TSA’s typical slant, there are also a number of additional abstractions, geometric studies and minimal images in the mix, as well as a few Philly-centric pictures, and even a handwritten love note of sorts by Todd Baldwin. It is clear that the artists that help Tiger Strikes Asteroid continue to sail through time and space feel quite fondly about their creative locale. It is encouraging to see such collective involvement and passion for an institution, and one can only hope that their inspiration is just as contagious.

These many love-letter-artworks will be featured at TSA through July 26.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid is located at 319 N. 11th St., on the 2nd floor, Philadelphia; [email protected];