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Streets Dept Podcast – SN 3, EP 9: Sabrina Allie and David Sabados Go From Politics to Print

February 21, 2020

Welcome back to the Streets Dept Podcast, y’all. This season of the podcast is our first-ever road trip season! That means that while the episodes at the beginning and end of this season will be recoded here in Philadelphia at Radio Kismet where I’m based, the middle of this season (seven episodes total) was recorded on a recent road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver, Colorado talking with some of the creative minds from those states.

Today we’ll be talking with Sabrina Allie and David Sabados! Sabrina and David first met in the spring of 2019 as opponents on the campaign trail for Denver City Council’s District 1. They both ran as Democrats in the primary, and they ultimately both lost that race. But in campaigning they realized just how many people complained about not having the resources to learn about local neighborhood and district issues. Ultimately leading them to start their own local newspaper, The Denver North Star!

Check out my conversation with Sabrina Allie and David Sabados below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

 
Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.) Read more…

Philly Street Art Interviews: Hysterical Men Depicts the Female Experience by Subverting Sexist Language

February 13, 2020

Welcome to Season 3 of Streets Dept’s newest series of street artist interviews, created in partnership with Philadelphia’s own unofficial official street art museum, Tattooed Mom. Each month, Streets Dept Contributor Eric Dale will sit down with one local street artist to ask them about their work. Together, we’ll learn more about the incredible artists getting up around Philly. (Photos also by Eric Dale.)

Street artists have a wide variety of motivations for doing what they do. Some create street art for fun. Some do it to help promote a larger body of artwork. And some are simply eschewing the more traditional world of gallery-based fine art.

My guest today, however, started creating street art out of pure, unadulterated rage.

The anger that fuels street art newcomer Hysterical Men is rooted in gender inequality, social injustice, and congressional incompetence—in other words: politics. While many artists began incorporating political messages into their work after the 2016 election, Hysterical has built her entire brand around candid political commentary. Focusing mostly on hand-drawn portraits of members of Congress and other political operatives, I’d say she’s currently the most political street artist working in Philadelphia.

Hysterical Men has a particular talent for distilling complex and emotional sentiments down to a crystal clear message using powerful language and symbolism. And she’s using this ability to smash the patriarchy.


 
Streets Dept’s Eric Dale: Thank you for doing this interview!
Hysterical Men: Oh, it’s my pleasure!

SD: So first of all, I’m really curious to know where the idea for Hysterical Men came from. The underlying concept is one of those rare, perfect ideas that’s utterly simple yet incredibly powerful. I know that the Kavanaugh hearings were the initial inspiration—if you can call it that—but how did this idea to turn men’s sexist language back on them come to crystallize in your head?
HM: That’s a great question. It did start with the Kavanaugh hearings. I had been tossing around in my head for a year prior how to bring my concerns about the state of the country into my artwork, and I had been trying different things, and nothing was quite right. I had been seeing Symone Salib’s work around a lot, and I saw her portraits at Broad and Wharton of Cristine Blasey-Ford and Anita Hill. She is always so good about tapping into the current moment, and getting stuff up, and she just got that up right at the right time, when we were all just so traumatized by those hearings. Read more…

Everything You Need to Know About “Streets Dept Walls,” On View Now at Fashion District

October 10, 2019

Streets Dept Walls
A Public Gallery

WHEN: Sept 19, 2019 – tbd, 2020
WHERE: Fashion District Philadelphia

Streets Dept Walls is a celebration of art, our beloved city of Philadelphia, and ourselves! Featuring a collection of 10 new temporary murals by 11 Philly artists, our project works to honor Philly’s status as an arts capitol and a place for creatives.

#StreetsDeptWalls are located in not one but two different areas of Fashion District. Our West Wall is located on the Concourse Level by 11th Street near Oath Pizza; and our East Wall is located on the Concourse Level by 9th Street near the As Seen On TV store.

Project created by curator Conrad Benner (founder of StreetsDept.com) with support from Fashion District Philadelphia. Read more…

Amberella Installs “City Hearts”

February 16, 2020

New wheatpastes today by Philly/LA-based street artist, Amberella, located at 22nd and Lombard Streets!

Titled City Hearts, Amberella told me more about the series: ” [It] celebrates our city and speaks to who we are as a community of brothers and sisters. Some hearts are heavy on the girl power, as I feel a deep sense of sisterhood in these streets. The hearts have definitely become a ‘Philly’ thing. With my roots here (Grandmom), I feel happy and touched by that.”

Amberella has been wheatpasting around Philly since the start of this blog over nine years ago. That first series she created addressed street harassment. But it’s been the different heart series that she began in 2016 that she’s become synonymous with!

“Love’s In Need of Love Today”, New Ad Takeover by Olivia McKnight

February 14, 2020

New love-themed work today by Philly-based street artist Olivia McKnight, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Olivia’s piece, installed at 16th and Fitzwater Streets in South Philly, has been installed as an ad takeover. That’s when an artist replaces an outdoor ad (in this case a bus shelter ad) with their art. And as someone who has very publicly come out against outdoor advertising, I love it!

For context, many Philly artists have participated in ad takeovers over the years, including: NDA in 2015, Kid Hazo in 2016 and 2017, and Joe Boruchow in 2016, 2017, and 2019. In 2017, a number of Philly artists even traveled to New York City to be part of Art in Ad Places, replacing outdoor ads with art in that city. I also partnered with Peopledelphia‘s Brendan Lowry twice for projects replacing “out of home” ads (as they’re also called) in Philly with art: Trashcan Takeover in 2018, and Track Takeover in 2019. Needless to say, artists by and large hate outdoor advertising because we know the power of art in public space.

The ad takeover by Olivia today reads, “Love’s in need of love today!” And if that sentence rings a bell, it’s because it’s the title of a Stevie Wonder song. As I wrote last month, Olivia is on a mission to bring Stevie’s love to the streets of Philadelphia, and today’s installation in part of that new series!

When posting about the installation to her Instagram this morning, Olivia added, “When you see it…grab it, protect it, nurture it and hold on to it!” Amen, Olivia! <3

UArts Installs A Pop Art Billboard by Lichtenstein on South Broad

February 12, 2020

The Avenue of the Arts is now home to a new work of public art, and not a moment too soon! The artwork is from one of history’s most famous Pop artists. And what’s potentially even more interesting, it has a historic tie to Philly.

I think most of you now know my feelings about the lack of public art on Philadelphia’s so-called “Avenue of the Arts”. And if you don’t, you can read this blog post from last December or this tweet from last September that bemoan the fact that one of our city’s most traveled and easily accessible boulevards seems to have lacked any curatorial forethought in its design. An observation that’s particularly stinging for this blogger who’s devoted to discussing art in the public space in a city that rightfully boasts that it has one of the largest collections of public art in the nation. Is this our city’s biggest issue, far from it. But in a city that’s well known for its public art, you’d expect more of it at a destination marketed as the “Avenue of the Arts”. Now, in all my publicly posted observations about the street, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with some of the folks from the board of the avenue, and I am happy to say that I think the avenue’s future is going to be a bright one. And that’s all I can say on that right now. In the meantime, the University of the Arts (UArts) has taken up the call.

Last month, UArts unveiled this new public art billboard on South Broad Street between Spruce and Pine Streets along the Avenue of the Arts. Titled Super Sunset, the billboard is a re-creation of an artwork by famed American pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) that features a black-and-white landscape with a setting sun over a body of water. While Lichtenstein is an artist probably best-known for his colorful, tightly-cropped paintings of comic book characters, he apparently returned to creating images of the sea and sky many times over the course of his career. Super Sunset was originally commissioned in the mid-60s by Joan Kron and Audrey Sabol, two champions of Pop art in Philadelphia. (If you’d like, you can read a bit more about Kron and Sabol’s work in brining Pop art to Philly in this 2016 Philadelphia Inquirer article by Peter Dobrin.)

I learned more in this 2015 Sag Harbor Express article: “The idea was to install a series of billboards around [Philadelphia] featuring imagery by contemporary artists of the day. The Lichtenstein study, which was recreated larger than life by Strait Outdoor Advertising of Philadelphia, was installed in 1967 on a sports backboard at Sabol’s Pennsylvania property in order to drum up support for the project. However, it never came to fruition and eventually the billboard was discarded.”

UArts has installed a re-creation of Lichtenstein’s billboard temporarily to, in part, advertise its current exhibition open now through April 4, 2020, Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde, which highlights Philadelphia’s significant contributions to visual, literary, and musical culture between 1956 and 1976. Considering that Lichtenstein created and installed his first-ever art billboard, Temple of Apollo, to promote his first exhibition held at the Pasadena Art Museum, this seems pretty fitting. And the fact that the Super Sunset art billboard has found a new home on an avenue that sorely needs it in a city that worked to bring it here more than a half century ago makes it only more so!

New Wheatpaste Reminds Us The Power of Corporate Messages In Our Public Space

February 5, 2020

New wheatpaste this week by Philly-based street artist Symone Salib celebrates body positivity and reminds us the power of corporate messages in our public space!

“Corporations intentionally make you hate your physical appearance to profit,” the wheatpaste reads. “Don’t let your body be a prison.”

Located at Broad Street at Fitzwater Streets in South Philly, Symone’s wheatpaste features a portrait of fellow Philly artist, Chloe Fimiano, along with a quote inspired by them. Symone elaborated on her Instagram: “Chloe’s words really inspired me last week to make this! It wasn’t until these last few years that I really started to embrace my body and accept my self for who I am. Grateful to be in a healthier mindset about my appearance and genuinely love my thick ass body. Here is to loving your body no matter the shape or size.”

See past works from Symone Salib around Philly here; read our 2019 interview with Symone here!

Streets Dept Podcast – SN 3, EP 8: DINKC Talks Death And Art

February 4, 2020

Welcome back to the Streets Dept Podcast, y’all. This season of the podcast is our first-ever road trip season! That means that while the episodes at the beginning and end of this season will be recoded here in Philadelphia at Radio Kismet where I’m based, the middle of this season (seven episodes total) was recorded on a recent road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Denver, Colorado talking with some of the creative minds from those states.

Today we’ll be talking with artist, DINKC! Born in Kansas City, Missouri and having recently lived in New York City, DINKC currently calls Denver, Colorado home. His artwork ranges from gallery work to public murals, creating merchandise, custom toys, and even apparel. DINKC’s work is heavily rooted in Mexican-American cultures, graffiti/ street art influence, and “Día de los Muertos” skulls and beliefs.

Check out my conversation with DINKC below, or on any major podcast streaming platform by searching “Streets Dept Podcast”!

 
Be sure to subscribe to the Streets Dept Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher, or any major podcast streaming platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published, and please feel free to rate and write a review of the podcast on those platforms to help others find it. (Truly, rating and reviewing podcasts, particularly on Apple Podcasts, helps us so SO much, so thank you for doing that.) Read more…

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