Yarn Bombing Rocky And The Philadelphia Museum Of Art

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Photo: Constance Mensh.

To many visitors and tourists to Philadelphia, the steps leading to the east entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art are synonymous with the cinematic prize fighter Rocky Balboa.  Sylvester Stallone most likely had no idea the scene would become a lasting cultural touchstone–the run up the stairs was only a small part of Rocky’s workout routine, which also included one armed pushups and using frozen hunks of meat as heavy bags. Yet, it was Rocky’s tread dash and victorious fist pump in the air that still inspires people to recreate the scene themselves.

Rain or shine hundreds of people complete this rite every day.  In 2007 the Museum acknowledged the situation, and in an act of acquiescence to the public, installed a larger than life bronze sculpture depiction of the pugilist at the base of the stairs.  The statue created a second spot for touristic photo opportunities and also saved many people the run up the stairs to prove their love of the fictional boxer. There was no need for exertion since most had come for some type of commemorative photo with Rocky, not the Art Museum.

Read the full article on Architizer here.

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Photo: Conrad Benner.

The Radical Humanity Of Zoe Strauss

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Photos: K. Scott Kreider

America is struggling through the second worst recession in its history. The first — the Great Depression — brought with it now-iconic images of breadlines, the dustbowl, the Hoover Dam, and the working poor of America. Integral to the visual history of the Great Depression are the photographs of Walker Evans, who documented the rural poor for the Farm Security Administration. Evans’ photographs, published in “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” have become iconic images relating to the first Great Depression.

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Photos: K. Scott Kreider

Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss cites Evans as one of her heroes and inspirations. Strauss’ mid-career retrospective is ongoing now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and provides a look at her ten-year photograph project, entitled “95.” Though “95” is expansive, Strauss’ primary subject matter is the working class, focusing on populations that are either forgotten by the general public, or offered meaningless platitudes by politicians. As part of the retrospective, the Museum has partnered with Clear Channel to place more than fifty billboards of Strauss’ photographs throughout Philadelphia.

Read the entire article at The Atlantic Cities here.

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Photos: K. Scott Kreider