“All of the beautiful places [Tracy Levesque] has photographed in the area no longer exist,” says Sara McCorriston, co-founder of the Paradigm Gallery and host of the rather sobering art show What Remains, which documents and pays tribute to neglected and forgotten spaces in the region. The show, which features both Levesque’s photography and mixed media by Drew Leshko, aims to create a public awareness about the demolition and destruction of buildings and spaces.
Drew Leshko‘s work recreates building facades that are in transitional periods using carvings, cuttings, and layerings of wood and paper. The end results are dollhouse-sized three-demential pieces of seemingly ordinary objects (dumpsters, pallets). However, as the press for the exhibit puts it, “The work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving.[…] Accumulations of typically overlooked details and minutiae like acid rain deposits and rust, quickly become beautiful adornments.”
Similar to Leshko's work, Tracy Levesque (also known as Ruin Porn) captures the essence of decaying Philadelphia buildings. The end result is eerily beautiful. "I am compelled to give these neglected sites attention and appreciate their past and current beauty," says the artist. "With my abandoned photography I work to capture the visual high achieved from witnessing the effects of ruin on a massive scale. By revealing the interiors of these spaces I hope to catch the essence of their former occupied selves and help motivate others to restore them."
Below is a preview of the exhibit. Paradigm Gallery (746 S. 4th Street) has hours on Saturdays from 12PM-6PM; fore more information, visit their website. You can follow the artists on Instagram: @DrewLeshko, @RuinPorn.