January 31, 2010
For 6 years I lived in the city of Philadelphia and one of my all time favorite spots was the “Magic Garden” located on 1020 South Street. Recently I took a trip back to the city to visit a very good friend of mine and actually remembered to take some pictures of this artistic spot.
hiladelphia’s Magic Gardens is a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. Located at the site of Zagar’s largest public mosaic installation, the Magic Gardens includes a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and a massive outdoor labyrinthine mosaic sculpture. The installation, primarily consisting of found objects and contributions from the community, covers half a city block with myriads of tile, texture, and color. A walk through the labyrinth will reveal sculptures from Latin America and Asia, bicycle wheels from local South Street shop Via Bicycles, Zagar’s hand-made tiles, and mirrors of every shape and size.
Zagar has devoted himself to beautifying the South Street neighborhood since the late 1960s, when he moved to the area with his wife Julia. The couple helped spur the revitalization of the area by purchasing and renovating derelict buildings, often adding colorful mosaics on both their private and public walls. The first such project was Julia’s still-thriving folk art store, the Eyes Gallery at 402 South Street.
Zagar started working on the Magic Gardens in 1994 in the vacant lot nearby his studio. He began by constructing a massive fence to protect the area from harm and then spent the next fourteen years excavating tunnels and grottos, sculpting multi-layered walls, and tiling and grouting the 3,000 square foot space. The installation pays tribute to Zagar’s many artistic influences, as well as the events and experiences of his life. Enveloped in visual anecdotes, the mosaiced walls refer to his wife Julia and sons Ezekiel and Jeremiah through playful images and words, but also reference important elements of the wider world — Las Pozas and Day of the Dead, the dance community of Philadelphia, and even the airplanes of the nationwide 9/11 tragedy.
General Info & History Credit: http://www.phillymagicgardens.org
Photo Credit: Just A Girl
January 31, 2010
Something Instead of Nothing:
“For the first twelve years of my adult life, I sustained a professional existence by asking questions to strangers and writing about what they said.”
“Why did you do it? I would ask these strangers. It did not matter what it was. What were you thinking while you did that? Did it satisfy you? What does it mean to be satisfied? Do you consider yourself to be famous? How does it feel to be famous? How did this experience change you? What elements didn’t change? What will never change? What drives you? Are you lying to me right now? Why should I care about what you are saying? Is this all a construction? Who constructed you? What was their purpose? Does god exist? Why or why not? Thank you very much. It was great meeting you in the lobby of this unnecessarily expensive hotel!”
Chuck Klosterman has to be one of my favorite authors for the simple reason that he appeals to my sarcastic side – and as most people know “sarcasm” is just a weapon we use to protect ourselves against stupid people!
“Eating the Dinosaur” is his new book and if you haven’t read it already …..what the hell are you waiting for!!!
Oh … and if you smart I suggest you read any of the following Klosterman Classics:
-Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
-Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural Nörth Daköta
-Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story
-Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
-Downtown Owl: A Novel
For More Sarcastic Info – Check-it: http://promo.simonandschuster.com/chuckklosterman/