Saturday Art: Philadelphia Murals
image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
I volunteered as a pollwatcher for the Obama campaign during the 2008 election, and was assigned to a precinct in West Philly. I arrived there a day early and decided to spend some time walking around, familiarizing myself with the neighborhood. I was impressed by all the beautiful murals I saw everywhere I went. It turns out Philly is famous for its street murals. They are a major tourist attraction, and you can go on various Mural Arts Tours by trolley, train, bicycle or on foot, which sounds to me like a great way to spend the day. The “Mural Mile” in Center City is a particularly good area to see some of the best ones, and a Google map and free podcast are available if you prefer to do a self-guided walking tour.
The mural pictured above is located on the 2800 block of Ogden Street, in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia. It is another example of Trompe l’oeuil which I wrote about in this post about an Andrea Pozzo fresco, several weeks ago. In this case, the blank brick wall of a building appears to have stoops, doors, windows, people, a sidewalk and even a park across the street.
After returning home, I put my Philly mural photos on Flickr, and later got invited to join the Flickr Philadelphia Murals Group. It’s a great way to take a virtual tour of Philly street art, even if you can’t get there in person. Also, be sure to check out a fantastic set of Pop Art murals called A Love Letter For You.
One of the main things I love about street murals is that they are another form of public art, and you don’t have to pay an admission fee to a museum to see them.