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Enchanting New Wheatpastes Hope to Add A Bit of Magic to Philly’s Streets

July 1, 2018

New wheatepastes around Philadelphia hope to bring the concept of ‘animism’ to our urban environment.

A continuation of his his work from 2016, the installations are by Philly-based artist, Doug Nox (aka Harleqvin.)

The definition of animism, by the way, if you’re like myself and weren’t sure, is: 1) The attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. 2) The belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.

I reached out to the artist over email to learn more:

“Each piece in the series is my representation of different spirits connected to what I think of as quintessential aspects of Philly…or at least the aspects that I think have the most…character? Vacant lots, abandoned factories, the rivers, and the space between high things.”

“I hope that people get some enchantment out of them…a little bit of magic from the old world resurfacing in the concrete jungle. In one sense they’re intimately connected to the land and it’s history, and in another sense they exist in one’s imagination, and hopefully stir things up there.”

The wheatepaste photographed for this post is located at 1310 South Front street in Pennsport, and represents the “Spirit of the Delaware river,” as the artist writes on his Instagram.

If you’re interested to learn more about these pieces, then you’re in luck! Doug mentioned at the end of our emails that “the full, semi-truthful retelling of the origin of these pieces” will be in his upcoming graphic novel “Low Magic” (no release date just yet.)

In the meantime, more of Doug’s magical installations can be found right now at 5th and Bainbridge streets, and 8th street and Girard avenue.

Thanks for chatting with us, Doug!

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