Monday, September 28, 2009

The Magic of Isaiah Zagar

Philadelphia is blessed to be home to Isaiah Zagar, the most actively creative community artist I've ever seen. In Center City, especially around South Street and in Old City, his work is everywhere you look, covering walls, snaking down alleyways, filling the eye and heart with color and joy. Mirrors, broken tiles, bits of sculpture and old dinnerware are his materials, and he puts them together with an uncanny sense of composition; the effect is outsider art meets sophisticated, well-trained art mind. Everyone of his creations is focused around a text paying tribute to an individual, a social movement, a historic event, or something else of personal and larger significance; words, often lengthy strings of them, crawl up, down, and around, leading your eye and mind in a loopy pleasure trip all over the surfaces of his buildings. There are plenty of examples to choose from, but the Painted Bride Art Center in Old City has to be one of his masterpieces. The pictures speak for themselves, but if you want to know more about Isaiah Zagar and the Painted Bride Art center, here are links to their websites. http://www.phillymagicgardens.org/about/general http://paintedbride.org/about/history-and-mission/

1 comment:

Richard said...

The Magic Garden is beyond cool. This is one of those treasure-places, an environment where we lose ourselves in dreams and possibilities. Thanks for writing about this wonderful space!!