Philadelphia is a city of murals, and it seems like every day a new one pops up to deliver us from the blahs of the urban jungle. Chroma Dolls (aka Kala Hagopian and Ali Williams) are two Philly-based artists dedicated to using their skills to beautify the city. Hagopian graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Williams graduated from Moore College of Art & Design, and together they have painted murals for The Pennsylvania Conference for Women, schools in Germantown and Upper Darby, and the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort to Restore the Shore.
We got tipped off by Duross & Langel owner Steve Duross that a work by French artist and “Father of Stencil Graffiti” Blek le Rat showed up on a brick wall near 13th and Sansom streets in the Gayborhood this afternoon. According to Duross it is situated next to Bar Philly.
The image shows a man in a suit—who kind of looks like Bill Hader—playing violin while a bird rests on his shoulder. It’s intermingled with a mish-mash of tagging that’s been on the wall for some time.
French artist le Rat is currently in New York working on a collaboration exhibit with the New York Academy of Art. The exhibition, titled “Blek le Rat | Escaping Paris,” opens on October 8th at the Quin Hotel in New York, and will run throughout the fall. He shared a prototype of the image that showed up on 13th Street on his Facebook wall earlier today.
Some local Instagrammers caught le Rat while he was working today:
Tomorrow afternoon Union Transfer is hosting a ceremony to dedicate a gorgeous new mural that now adorns its backside. The work, called Amplify, was created by artist Ben Volta, and members of Mural Arts‘ Restorative Justice Guild program. Mural Arts explains how the concept for Amplify, which incorporates radiant stain glass windows and a variety of designs symbolizing “properties of music, sounds and the amplification of voice,” came about:
Philly street artist Kid Hazo strikes again — this time taking on those mushy Visit Philly ads with posters that say funny things like “Dear Liberty Bell, Crack kills!” The ads were installed on Sunday morning along Chestnut between Broad and 18th streets. Check out more images from Streets Dept. here.
Conrad Benner’s local street-art blog Streets Dept. is celebrating its three-year anniversary by giving away this wall-hanging sculpture that was created by artists NoseGo and Ishknits in 2011.
Here’s how to win:
- Follow @StreetsDept, @NoseGo and @Ishknits on Instagram
- Find an existing NoseGo mural or Ishknits installation in Philadelphia
- Instagram the mural or installation using the hashtag #StreetsDeptGiveaway
- Once you win, send the sculpture straight to me, please.
- Just joking (sort of.)
The contest is only running through noon on Tue., Jan. 28, at which time Benner will randomly select a winner and contact them via Instagram. Here’s a link to his blog post for more information. Good luck!
There are those who hear the term “street art” and equate it with spray-painted tags that deface the window of a new shop. There may be historical links in that there’s a public nature to the expression, but street art today has arrived at a status just below high art — and given how some street artists are compensated and commercialized, highly paid art.
The only blog devoted entirely to this art in Philadelphia is Streets Dept., and its founder and editor, Conrad Benner (who’s also blogging for Property now; look for his work in Habitat) has chosen this year’s top 10 street art moments. There’s not a lot to quibble with here — we only wish Joe Boruchow’s work was photographed in a way that you could see more of it. But stay tuned: We may have more Boruchow for you in the near future.
First, he went after the vampire squirrels in LOVE Park. Then, it was the fist-pumping bros of Drexel. Now, Phillly street artist Kid Hazo has set his satirical sites squarely on the PPA with the largest parking ticket ever:
Starting out Sunday morning, when most hip city dwellers were still staking out tables at cafes, Hazo parked his car (legally), disguised himself in sunglasses and a cap, and walked quickly toward South Street, carrying a big, black plastic garbage bag.
Inside was an enormous mock parking ticket with an exact replica of the dreaded “VIOLATION” along one end. The upper right corner read, “Place Giant Stamp Here Absurdly Large Postage Required Post Office will most likely not deliver this.” The address: KID HAZO Street Art Division PO BOX 092013.
His mission? Slip it under the wipers of a parking authority traffic enforcement car.
Slip it he did, right onto the windshield of PPA officer T. Free’s patrol car at Sixth and South. Then, of course, Kid Hazo ran like hell. The guy, after all, is in his 30s with a full-time job—not exactly your average graffiti artist.
But, then, the PPA isn’t your average scoundrel. Hopefully, the message was big enough this time. [Philly.com]
You’ve seen them on the buildings along the route of the Market-Frankford El–artist Steve Powers’ “Love Letter” murals, which are evocative, poignant, funny and one of the most inventive projects the Mural Arts Program has ever done. Best seen from the train, with messages that use colloquial language and a mix of type and color, the murals are accessible to a range of people in a way art isn’t always. And what could enliven an El trip more than flashes of mysterious messages that zip by, making riders look forward to the next day’s ride to decode the buildings that often blur like blight?