Street Art Is Here

Work by Joe Boruchow

Work by Joe BoruchMay 16 marked the opening reception of I Am Here, a showcasing of some of Philadelphia’s most innovative and groundbreaking street artists – those who contribute to the everchanging visual climate in their communities. The work, purely original and adventurous, just screams “Look at me, I am here!”

“If a city can be defined by its art then Philadelphia is revolutionary with its artistic trail blazers who’ve set the tone with their unleashed self-expression. They bond our communities with shared visceral moments –constantly shaping a culture that defies the trappings of being boxed into idioms that try to define creativity in terms of subversive elements of expression. These artists follow a history of groundbreakers whose actions resulted from a need to be heard,” said Sara McCorriston, Curator of “I Am Here”

Those included in the feature were Isaiah Zagar, Darryl “Cornbread” McCray, Conrad Benner a.k.a. Streets Dept, Joe Boruchow, Jessie Hemmons a.k.a. Ishknits, and Kid Hazo.

Connrad Benner, photographer and creator of Streets Dept, displayed images ranging from anti-street harassment wheatpastes to wild-style graffiti tags. On Benner’s website, you can find more of his street art and urban exploration photography.

Work by Cornbread

Work by Cornbread

Legend and modern day graffiti pioneer Darryl “Cornbread” McCray did not showcase a pachyderm marked up with his moniker. In his heyday, Cornbead garnered much attention for breaking into the Philadelphia Zoo and tagging his name on an elephant. The mischievous nature of his work is still visible in the piece where “Cornbread, The World Is Mine” is scrawled across a stop sign.

Joe Boruchow is known for his vivid monochrome pasted posters. Included in Boruchow’s installation are army green mailbox backs that are used to frame his own tombstone and back-bending contortionists.

“The longer I have been doing uncommissioned public art the more I try to find architectural spaces to frame and add context to my work, ultimately integrating it into the environment,” says Boruchow.

Usually, knitting comes off as a passive and domestic sort of craft. Jessie Hemmons, Ishknits, challenges that stereotype. Hemmons’ yarnbombs, which can be found on bike racks and Frank Rizzo statues, are equally, if not more eye-catching than the brightest stickers or marker drops. The fact that Hemmons’ medium is not often found in public places makes her work that much more outstanding.

Work by Kid Hazo

Work by Kid Hazo

On the contrary, Kid Hazo has the capability of completely blending into his surroundings. Hazo uses standard public sign aesthetics and designs that parody Philadelphia and occasionally mock its residents. The pay phone installation pokes fun of today’s self-centered and technology-hungry society, while reminding viewers what a real “throwback” is.

Isaiah Zagar, the mosaic artisan and creator of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, showcases a tremendous pale pink mosaic exhibiting a robust female figure. Zagar has been working on his large scale work for over 40 years. Many of his mosaics can be found east of Broad Street in South Philadelphia, very close to the Magic Gardens on South St.

I Am Here flawlessly brings the pubic pieces into a gallery space by transferring not only the art but the hardware that makes street art what it is. The exhibition is running now through August 2 at James Oliver Gallery.

My art is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract.The satire and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve as I grew more familiar with German Expressionism, American Social Realism and Abstract Expressionism. The sketches of people drawn from life that I do almost daily provide constant fodder for my humorous paintings, drawings and prints. My work is a synthesis of humor and fine art. I am quite serious about being silly. My goal is to create art that is sown from the depths of comic outrageousness, satirical observation and mild misanthropy. If Matisse had the “sun in his belly," I have a banana peel permanently attached to my shoe!
Ellen Lana Abraham
Ellen Lana Abraham

My art is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract.The satire and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve…

My art is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract.The satire and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve as I grew more familiar with German Expressionism, American Social Realism and…

My art is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract.The satire and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve as I grew more familiar with German Expressionism, American Social Realism and Abstract Expressionism.…

Eric T. Kunsman is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. His photographs and books have been exhibited internationally and are in several prominent collections throughout the United States. He currently owns Booksmart Studio, which is a fine art digital printing studio specializing in numerous techniques and services for photographers and book artists.
Eric Kunsman
Eric Kunsman

Eric T. Kunsman is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. His photographs and books have been exhibited…

Eric T. Kunsman is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. His photographs and books have been exhibited internationally and are in several prominent collections throughout the…

Eric T. Kunsman is a photographer and book artist based out of Rochester, New York. His photographs and books have been exhibited internationally and are in several prominent collections throughout the United States. He currently…

Peter Quarracino
Peter Quarracino
Clare Finin is an artist, researcher, and non-profit hustler currently based in Philadelphia, PA.
Clare Finin
Clare Finin

Clare Finin is an artist, researcher, and non-profit hustler currently based in Philadelphia, PA. …

Clare Finin is an artist, researcher, and non-profit hustler currently based in Philadelphia, PA. …

Clare Finin is an artist, researcher, and non-profit hustler currently based in Philadelphia, PA. …

I Found My Voice Through Art. As women in a patriarchal society, we often stick to our roles until we can’t anymore. WE WAKE UP!   We feel different. The world looks like a different place. We breathe the air like it wasn’t there before. I come from a long line of activists and art lovers. My grandmother was in the Red army in Russia, immigrated here and marched with the suffragettes. My mother was a Democratic committee woman in a Republican neighborhood getting doors slammed in her face. My art reflects and represents current events in performing arts and politics. People in the news inspire me... their movement, their expression, their passion for change. Look at the eyes of my portraits. What do they see?  What have they seen?  What are they feeling?   Happiness, sadness, fear, defiance, courage... each has their own story. My paintings are like family members. There is an emotional part of me in every painting. When they sell, I feel a loss. I go back and look at the images to keep them close.
Barbara Shelly
Barbara Shelly

I Found My Voice Through Art. As women in a patriarchal society, we often stick to our roles until we can’t anymore. WE WAKE…

I Found My Voice Through Art. As women in a patriarchal society, we often stick to our roles until we can’t anymore. WE WAKE UP! We feel different. The world looks like a different place. We breathe…

I Found My Voice Through Art. As women in a patriarchal society, we often stick to our roles until we can’t anymore. WE WAKE UP! We feel different. The world looks like a different place. We breathe the air like it wasn’t…

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