Posts for Fishtown

Harlequinade in Fishtown / Northern Liberties

Normally no one ever bothers us when we’re out taking photos. In fact, I don’t think we do. When we took these shots a few weeks ago someone actually asked us what we were doing and seemed a little concerned.

That story doesn’t have much to do with the actual piece, but it does make me wonder a bit how much trouble the people who do this actually get into sometimes, or how little.

Harlequinade has these awesome wheat pastes in Fishtown/ Northern Liberties located under the El.

Tober in Northern Liberties

Tober and Ken in Northern Liberties

Tober is, quite easily, the most wanted and notorious street artists in Philly right now. Cops wanna catch him, artists want to hang with him, and reporters want to interview him (seriously, hit us up!), and we had the chance to check out a ton of his coolest pieces lying around NoLibs! So sit back, relax, and enjoy these photos.


Tober Detail Huge

Fishtown Bookstore got BOMBED!

Fishtown Bookstore Wall

Well, it always looked like it was, yuk yuk.

We were strolling along Frankford Ave and we came across this wonderful art jam! We don’t normally see a lot of Art Jams… plenty of sticker collaborations, but not a lot in terms of full-blown pieces. From GetUp’s Dancing Bandits and Ben Franklin with a boom box, to NoseGo and his insane tiger with Lazer Eyes, Buildsy and his Alfred E. Neuman paste-up, not to mention that sweet Mickey Mouse… this is just awesome! I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, and even now I can’t believe what it was that I was able to capture! Its always a pleasure when the local artists are allowed to really flex their artistic muscles and create some amazing pieces!

That Old PGW Building

I need to actually get closer to this building!

In this photo from left to right: Skrew, Nekst Avoid, Sore, Akn, and Skero.

Spain v. Shepard Faiery: The Throwdown in Fishtown!

Lauren Cassady Removing Graffiti

Lauren Cassady Removing Graffiti

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Local Street Artist Spain hit the Shepard Fairey “mural” in Fishtown back in January, and shortly after that the piece started to get cleaned up. Local art conservator Lauren Cassady began cleaning and restoring the piece not long afterwards, and wrapped up work not too long ago.

From the moment word got out and through the entire restoration process, a debate raged on about the entire event. Were the streets giving their opinion about the once-infamous street artist not only going legit but big time being a mockery to the essence of what they thought Street Art was? Was the action simply a rouge action?

The reaction, according to Lauren, has been largely positive:

Also, I have been approached, both on the street and online, by several active street artists/bombers, who support me fully. The subculture has a well defined set of mores and standards, and these artists, the local ones especially, want to beat the shit out of this “spain” guy. Basically, they tell me that a “toy” bombed a “king”, a huge non-no in that world. It just doesn’t happen without repercussion in that community.

I’ve stated it time and time again since I started this blog with Pipelines: We are still relatively new to this. We don’t know the full extent of the truth, and we also don’t know what the general reaction is from the streets. I tend to try and stay neutral.

Shepard Fairey’s murals have come under fire since he started having them commissioned. The reasons have ranged anywhere between him being a sellout, unoriginal, and just going against the reason street art even exists. At the same time, he’s been praised or being such a talented artist and bringing interesting art to the masses.

The argument for the piece is that not only is it essentially a commissioned mural, the tag would have been cleaned up no matter what. The fact that Lauren is doing it in order to preserve the original wheat pasting is better than just painting over it and trying to replicate it. The argument can easily be made that is someone did this to a Bansky they would be run out of town, which I’m pretty sure is true. That said, there is as reason that people respect and love Bansky in a way Shepard isn’t, and it isn’t something easy to explain.

So where does the truth lie? Did Spain cross the line, or did Shepard get what was coming to him?

I’m leaving it up to you, the readers of this blog, to make the decision. We’ll post the best comments Friday.