And I’m definitely referring to them as holiday lights because it will almost definitely piss off whoever put this up…
Ok, while this isn’t exactly surprising, it is deeply disappointing. This is, after all, the neighborhood that saw a pro-Cliven Bundy message erected in 2014. For anyone in need of a reminder: Cliven Bundy was the man who earned his notorious 15-minutes of 24-hour cable news network fame after he wondered openly on live TV whether black Americans (though he used different words) weren’t just better off as slaves. And, of course, there’s that home with the confederate flag painted on it as well. Although I suppose to be completely fair to Port Richmond, both those happened in what is technically called ‘Olde Richmond,’ on the edge of Port Richmond proper. This Trump sign, however, sits at Allegheny avenue and Salmon street on a busy roadway in the heart Port Richmond, next to an I-95 exit/onramp and around the corner from a Wawa.
This comes the same week Donald Trump takes a slight lead over Hillary Clinton in a new Quinnipiac University poll of likely Pennsylvania voters. Double yikes!
To all those who think that it’s really just the middle of our state that’s producing loud-and-proud Trump supporters, I’m sad to report that I don’t think it’s all that simple.
It appears that some artist/activist has been using the ubiquitous “sale sticker” emblem to convey… something.
The top two photos of this post show a “free” wheatpaste on the former Finnegan’s Wake building at 3rd and Spring Garden, whose future is even more confusing than trying to understand why that bar lasted so long in the first place.
The “Anything” wheatpaste popped up at Thompson and Howard streets…
I really don’t know what to make, if anything, of these pastes, but if the artist or their friends are reading: please feel free to comment with some more context!
Thanks to a direct message on Instagram from a reader of this blog, it looks like this artist has an Instagram account, but alas it offers no suggestion of this series’ purpose or any underlying message.
Just. This is just fucking fine art on the streets of Philadelphia… ALWAYS love what the (truly) legendary Joe Boruchow contributes. And I LOVE this!
And in case you might have forgot, here‘s what Joe had in this same spot before this paste.
If you’re someone who likes street art and you aren’t planning regular trips to Tattooed Mom‘s, I don’t know what you’re doing. While this back door has been pretty much the sole property of Joe B. for the last number of years (for VERY good reason), the upstairs at Mom’s is a living museum to modern Philly street art. Well, a museum you can drink in, which just might be my favorite kind.
Titled, ‘The Roots Remain,’ Harleqvin‘s latest installation can be found on Bainbridge street, between 5th and 6th streets in Queen Village…
On his website, the artist says the following about this installation: “Luxury condos built upon a mass grave. Each brick piled high upon the backs of those below.”
This post was originally titled ‘Harleqvin Comments on Luxury Condos Being Built in Queen Village’, but I changed that wording to ‘New Development’ after Queen Village business owner and all-round awesome person Sara McCorriston, of Paradigm Gallery, commented on my Facebook post about this installation questioning if the development was in fact luxury condos. With all the luxury condo/home building taking place around the city right now, it’s pretty easy to assume any construction like this will bear more of the same.
After some digging, I found a few helpful articles on Naked Philly that show that Harleqvin’s installation appears to actually be in front of two separate development projects. One, condos by developer Haffey Homes on a former surface parking lot. The other, a 29-room boutique hotel with ground-floor retail by Zaken Realty Trust in a building that formerly housed the now closed John C Paul and Sons paper company, which had been selling paper goods and cleaning supplies for decades at that location.
More Harleqvin around Philly can be found here!
I. LOVE. This!
Ok, so while I can’t 100% confirm that this is the work of artist Sean Martorana, I will say that if it isn’t him, Sean should sue ;)
Y’all can find this BRILLIANT new installation at an abandoned lot on 5th street, between Green and Wallace streets in Northern Liberties.
Yay! So pumped to confirm that this is in fact Philly-based artist Sean Martorana!
You know, I’ve walked by this piece on Front street, between Thompson and Master in Fishtown, a few times over the last number of weeks. Every time I’ve just kept on walking, blowing it off as nothing of too much interest. (I tend to, as a rule, only photograph stuff that literally stops me in my tracks. It prevents me from having 3,000+ photos to look through every week. And trusting that instinct has helped me to curate what I really want to talk about, highlight, and celebrate on this blog.)
But today, at the end of a three-hour summertime walk around the city in search of new work to photograph, I found myself walking by this yet again. Today, however, I stopped. All of a sudden, it just connected with me. It made me feel some feelings. And before I knew it my camera was out of my backpack snapping photos.
Ok, so who or what is ‘Sluto,’ the apparent writer of this piece?
Well first, some quick context: the word ‘Sluto,’ according to Urban Dictionary, means “the new revisioned male version of slut.” Cool.
Sluto, for our purposes, is also the name of a traveling graffiti writer who Juxtapoz Magazine called an “under the radar writer” in a recent post.
After some digging, I found this interview with Sluto by The Flop Box that’s particularly enlightening…
“So you meet someone who has never seen your work before and they ask what kind of work you make. How do you describe it to them?
I guess its graffiti art? I am stuck doing letters, writing my name in my paintings, maybe because I started painting 15 years ago, before the ‘street art revolution,’ and for the old timers, street art was and always will be abhorrent. That being said, just painting graffiti letters got very boring for me sometime in 2006. So since about 2008 I’ve been struggling to make a style of image-based, symbol-laden graffiti that is appealing to civilians and letter-based graffiti writers alike, a sort of synthesis. More simply, I want my Mom to like my graffiti. But about graffiti: I like the medium and that no one is paying me anything, so I can do whatever I want. I like being outside, in the world, exploring, walking down old railroad tracks, and I like my paintings, sometimes the really bad ones, because I know when some civilian sees it they are going to scratch their head. I want other people to think, to maybe just see how I see. You know, The Horror :)”
Meanwhile, I’m gonna plan some more three-hour summertime walks around the city…
I know very little about this installation, other than what can be implied by the photos I took this week (above): namely that the artist/activist who installed this piece seems to be taking issue with new construction at 4th and Reed streets in South Philly. This construction, it should be mentioned, is taking place in a neighborhood with a fair amount of low-income housing. Maybe that’s got something to do with this installation?
Another thing to note is that this piece originally contained a noose hanging from it. The noose, however, was quickly removed while the rest of the piece remains…
(Photo by Wesley Kays-Henry via Facebook)
Please feel free to comment if you think you can help add context to this story, I’d appreciate it!