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Art Painted On Box Originally Left for Trash Nears 3 Month Birthday

January 6, 2020

This week I spotted a box, what appeared to be a shipping container left out for trash day, but with a drawing on it. The drawing depicts a figure with shoulder-length hair and red lips and text saying “I don’t fit in this box”.

I found the box at 4th and Fitzwater streets, outside Paradigm Gallery + Studio. It made me smile, so I photographed it. When I got home to edit my photos for this post I noticed some more, much smaller text: the date (I’m guessing) that it was painted, 10/18/19; and the Instagram handle of the artist.

The artist, it turns out, is Brooklyn-based Sara Erenthal. On her website, the artist’s bio reads: “Sara Erenthal is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on themes of displacement, survival, and liberation. Born into an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family, she left home at 17 to avoid an arranged marriage and has spent the next two decades creating art and traveling the world. She works across mediums such as painting, sculpting, and performance, often integrating everyday materials into her process. When not in her studio, Erenthal can be found working on the streets, reinventing discarded objects and painting provocative portraits.”

I contacted one of the owners of Paradigm Gallery, Sara McCorriston, to learn if there was any reason this piece was outside her gallery. Sara confirmed that the box was left out for trash, but that the artist used it as her canvas fairly quickly after that and no one’s touched it since. Sara added that if anyone particularly liked the work and wanted to claim it for themselves that there’s nothing stopping them. The box isn’t attached to the wall or sidewalk.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s the post-holiday quiet or what, but I really enjoyed bumped into this work. Its scale, its use of discarded materials, its simple design, it all just worked for me!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2020 10:15 pm

    I’ve seen her work in Brooklyn.
    Sara's Three Selves

  2. Wendy M Goldberg permalink
    January 6, 2020 10:42 pm

    I’ve been following her on IG for at least 2 or 3 years and had no idea that she had been through Philly recently. Thanks for this post I’ll have to walk by tomorrow and see if it’s still there🙂

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