Monday, July 28, 2014
Wall / Therapy hits Rochester this summer in a neighborhood near you!
Living in New York City years ago I experienced an explosion of graffiti that enveloped the subways and stretched out onto walls of any available derelict building. The artists ranged from the unknowns to the soon-to-be-famous like Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. There were hundreds of taggers who just had to make their mark and some of this public art really deserved attention. In recent years this kind of renegade art has met up with more sophisticated art school types who shaped a transgressive behavior of painting on someone else's property to meet their own needs and further their own careers. I remember some of the first legitimate murals in New York City were terrific - Knox Martin had one on the West Side Highway in Chelsea for years.
In Philadelphia, which has a wealth of public art on the street - the murals spread around the city have become a tourist draw. Teaching at R.I.T. I had the idea of painting murals as part of my class projects in illustration, and I put my ideas into practice. I found sponsors for projects and my class painted murals on site for the group CASA ( in the municipal parking garage at Family Court ), as well as for Literacy Volunteers, and for the local real estate advocates. These projects happened almost twenty years ago, and now I can witness a whole new wave of large scale painting being orchestrated by Wall / Therapy.
This summer's events include large scale murals going up in my studio neighborhood on East Main Street. I see a three story mural going up a few hundred yards away from my loft in the Hungerford Building. I also noticed a work on the walls of an old barn on North Goodman by David Walker.
If you want to see the work in progress you can find out who is doing what on their web site: