first friday

We strolled around Old City on a First Friday, (a much calmer event during the summertime) taking in some of the local Philly art scene. The sidewalk street shows always conjure up the notion of discovering a diamond in the rough, but usually its a mix of possible potential and unpolished amateurism. That's just my opinion and its all subjective anyway. Who knows what the hell art is anyway? In the grand scheme of things, popular critiquing and recognition of masters help structure perspective and art history... but at the molecular level, I tend to approach it on a more personal level. Its an act of call and response. Does this piece speak to me? I don't care if its in the MOMA or on a table in North Philly.

So back to First Friday - one kid had a collection of graffiti influenced street paintings featuring rappers and revolutionary icons on hectic backgrounds. His perspective struck me as simply "young" - mostly because it reminded me of when I used to draw my favorite musicians or rappers and stick them on my bedroom walls. Most of the street shows were held by the not-ready-for-primetime-gallery kids mostly at art school age. They usually are still caught up in the angst of their own world, occasionally noticing observers browsing their artwork. A rare greeting or conversation is offered but usually its very quiet. Such a stark but expected contrast from the self-promoting gallery artists catering to spectators full of wine, cheese and pretentious chatter. I know I'm stating the obvious, but like any other business, the art world is all about marketing and promotion.


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