Skip to content

What Artist(s) Would You Like to See Paint America’s Largest Mural on the Back of the PSFS Building?

October 9, 2012

Yesterday I started a petition to ask the Mayor (and whoever else needs to be asked) to fund a mural to be painted on the back of the PSFS Building. With already over 50 signatures in only 24 hours, I’m beginning to get excited that I might not be the only one who sees this as a real possibility and a really awesome opportunity for Philadelphia to make a HUGE statement about the role of the arts in our city, and I wonder how you might envision this mural-to-be…

So, if we got enough signatures, got enough press, and worked out all the concerns about it being a historical building (even though the back is already painted black, so I can’t really imagine what damage blue, or purple, or pink paint could do) and the city decided to paint a mural on the back of the PSFS Builing, what artist, or artists, would you like to see take up the job of painting the largest mural in America?

I have a few ideas myself, but I wonder who you’re thinking… Let me know in the comments, and, if you haven’t already, SIGN THE PETITION HERE!! And, please, share with your friends.

This is a long shot, but I honestly believe it can happen, with enough support.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2012 12:37 pm

    NoseGo, Curly and Me!

  2. Thornhill permalink
    October 9, 2012 12:49 pm

    With all due respect, this is a horrible idea. Let me enumerate:

    1) The PSFS building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the nation, if not world. Great care has been put in to preserve its appearance, such as the keeping the PSFS sign on the top.

    2) Philadelphia already has what’s probably the most active mural arts program in the world: The Mural Arts Program (MAP). With 3,000 some murals, I don’t think we’re lacking in our expression for the arts. Further, having murals spread out all over the city is a lot more impactful than just having one large one downtown.

    3) You’re never going to come up with a design everyone likes, and it will end up becoming a long standing point of controversy among Philadelphians. Just look at how controversial some of MAP’s murals have been over the years.

    4) Whatever the design is, everyone is going to want it to be kept in good shape — nobody wants to look at a decaying mural. MAP performs maintenance to all of its murals from times to time, and some of the oldest ones just end up getting painted over because it’s easier to do something new rather than repeated touchups. Keeping a 36-story tall mural looking new is going to be extremely expensive.

  3. October 9, 2012 12:57 pm

    NoseGo, or Boxi

  4. John permalink
    October 9, 2012 1:18 pm

    Aryz! Phlegm!

  5. October 9, 2012 7:10 pm

    i should do it. and the design would be a riff on the iconic PSFS letters in an art deco stylee. everybody wins

  6. Christine Webb permalink
    October 10, 2012 8:44 am

    I second you! Steve Powers should do it. I grew up in Brooklyn, so I have Espo love. Is this petition going through Mural Arts? Powers and the MAP already have a great history together, so consider working with them. They already have the means to communicate with developers, politicians, and the community alike. I think the biggest problem that lies with choosing the PSFS is that is doesn’t exist within a community- so the goals and audience with be harder to identify. Although this would be profoundly expensive, I think we can all agree that it would be stunning to have a skyscraper mural.

  7. Gee permalink
    October 10, 2012 9:31 am

    yeah, Steve Powers is kind of the obvious choice.

    Once all the details with $ are concerned it is a good idea. As long as the funding doesn’t take away from vital, more important things in the city like education / the schools.

  8. Disco34726 permalink
    October 11, 2012 2:33 pm

    My vote against this project is location. The building (even the bare back of it) is a work of art. it should be left alone. Steve Powers or not (although I’m huge fan). Pick another location in Center City. What about one of the two the giant eyesores at 8th and Market (or both!)? There would be more viewers there than the back PSFS. Also, why deface an international landmark for the sake of an irrelevant title that we don’t need? Largest mural title seems more like an ego stroke than something legitimate to extend our reputation as a world class artistic city. I have to agree with Thornhill, the cost, upkeep, style, and message of the mural will not be something easily decided and would likely be the deciding factor in not proceeding more than the location.

  9. Matt permalink
    October 12, 2012 3:25 pm

    Rainbow Warrior? Were this mural to happen, a global search for an artist would likely be commissioned. No absolute need to stay local. Of course, we could just yarn bomb the fucking thing.

  10. Jonn permalink
    October 13, 2012 11:01 am

    I think the whole thing is like showing up to a corporate business meeting in a clown suit while everyone else is wearing jackets and ties.

    You people need a reality check. Seriously. In the real world, people avoid areas with graffiti. Yes, I know, you prefer to give it nice names like “neighborhood engaged art” and such. But it sends the same message to the sane, non-artsy world: Avoid this area. It’s unsafe.

    And you want to put this right smack in the middle of Philadelphia. Great. Just great.

    If you look closely at William Penn’s statue, that isn’t condensation under his eyes. It’s tears. If he could move he’d do a facepalm after hearing about this.


  1. Painting The PSFS: How And Why We Can And Should Do This Now « Streets Dept
  2. Painting the PSFS: What A Steve Powers PSFS Mural Might Look Like « Streets Dept

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: