By Annamarya Scaccia
Tue.-Thu., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., noon-9 p.m., 620 S. Sixth St, 215-982-0127, tias.com/stores/frozenbeauty
(CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)
For the past two decades, former industrial surplus dealer Michael Lawrence has traveled to cities around the globe — including Havana, Copenhagen and Bombay — searching for precious objects along the way. Among his finds: a signed Picasso lithograph, a few Whistlers, work by Deco artist Gustave Kaitz and a dagger once belonging to Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.
To house these remarkable items, the Philly native recently opened Galleria Frozen Beauty on South Street. “Fabulous Flea Market Finds,” the gallery’s first exhibit, features 100-plus pieces (about 90 percent of which Lawrence bought at flea markets) and runs through the end of March. Eventually, he’d like to showcase local artists, especially those who celebrate the feminine.
“I’m really turned on by golden-age pinup artists,” says Lawrence. “I want artists who can capture the look and feel of a woman.”
For now, he’s sticking with his collection of all things rare and antique. “I started my adult life as an artist and, of course, drifted like most artists do,” he says. “But I always collected something. I always somehow, somewhere, surrounded myself with art and basically wound up buried in this stuff.”