Philadelphia

The streets of North Philly are rich with a range of public art — from commissioned murals to first-rate graffiti. The image pictured above was painted by Philadelphia-based artist Yis Goodwin aka Nosego. Several more images captured on my recent visits to Philly follow:

Brazilian artist Eder Muniz aka Calangoss, close-up from huge mural

Philly-based Septic the Outlaw, close-up

The ubiquitous Philly-based Bines

The legendary NYC writer Skeme

Veteran Philly writer Enem

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The streets in the vicinity of North 10th off Spring Garden Street in Philly are home to an intriguing array of street art. Pictured above is the work of Glossblack, a Philadelphia-based artist with roots in graffiti. What follows are several more images — all by Philly-based artists — that I captured on my recent wanderings around one of my favorite cities.

Charles Burwell, close-up

NDA

Lauren West, close-up

Nero

Joe Boruchow, four of several works on Buttonwood Street, alongside Nero

Photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from WideWalls to the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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One of the highlights of my recent trip to Philly was my visit to the legendary TATTOOED MOM on South Street. Not only is it a first-rate restaurant and bar, but it is also an extraordinary oasis of creativity and street art. On this past trip, I discovered its overwhelmingly impressive second level.  An ever-evolving site that hosts a range of events, it was home — this time — to Characters Welcome 6, its sixth annual international sticker art exhibit. While there, I had the opportunity to speak to its visionary owner and director, Robert Perry.

What an amazing space this is! I was familiar with the downstairs. But this upstairs level is phenomenal! It is the perfect antidote to the — almost aseptic — direction so much of street art is taking. I’m so happy to have discovered it!

Yes! I tend to think of it as a hidden gem!

How long has TATTOOED MOM been around?

It was founded in 1997. This year it is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

And what about its name — TATTOOED MOM? What is its origin? Is it a reference to how welcoming it is to folks of all ages? 

It’s actually a reference to a specific person, Kathy “Mom” Hughes, who was a mother to so many — including band members who traveled through Philly.

I noticed downstairs works by Shepard Fairey, Wordsmith and other key street artists. And this upstairs has evolved into an authentic street art museum. 

Yes! I see it as an unofficial street art museum — anarchistic and ephemeral in its nature.

I assume, then, there are no official curators.

Yes, it’s all freestyle…uncurated. Everything that happens here is organic.

And I’ve noticed folks of all ages here today, including children.

Yes, children are invited to participate in several of our community-oriented activities. But in the evenings, this space is only open to adults.

I’m loving this sticker show. Philly has always been home to an amazing array of sticker artists.

Yes! It’s our sixth annual one — with contributions from many artists who aren’t local. And dozens of stickers from previous years’ shows remain on the walls.

What’s ahead?

We are constantly changing and evolving. We are always growing and expanding our activities and programs as we make new friends.

It sounds ideal! You’ve created quite a Utopia here!

Special thanks to Alberto of JMZ Walls for introducing me to Robert.

Photos by Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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Coinciding with the Democratic National Convention, the non-profit Rock The Vote launched its Truth to Power campaign in Philadelphia earlier this week. Among its events was a three-day pop-up art exhibit featuring a varied range of socially and politically engaged works in different media. Among the artists who participated are many whose works have also surfaced in public spaces. Pictured above is Keith Haring with the City Kids Foundation. Here are several more:

Mear One, False Profits

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Beau Stanton, Elemental Crisis 

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Shepard Fairey aka Obey

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Lmnopi, Tehrir

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Mata Ruda, How Can I Write My Own Future with My Hands Bound?

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Photo credits: 1-3, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 4 Sara Ching Mozeson

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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