Valentines For Urban Neighborhoods


“Love Letter,” Stephen Powers in Philadelphia. Image via.

Valentine’s Day brings an avalanche of platitudes, from the banal to the heartfelt, delivered to the subject of one’s amore. Normally, the recipient of these overtures is a person, but in the case of artist Stephen Powers, city neighborhoods, and the people that live and work in them, are the muse. Claiming the sides of forgotten buildings and outdated infrastructure as his canvas, Powers presents city dwellers with provocative text-based art that riffs on popular forms of communication, from self-help affirmations and advertising mantras to starry-eyed confessions. This earnest language cast in colorful formations is a satisfyingly jolting juxtaposition.


“Love Letter” by Steve Powers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2010. Image via Adam Wallacavage.

Today, Princeton Architectural Press is releasing A Love Letter to the City, the first compendium of all of Power’s projects, in cities as disparate as Philadelphia, Syracuse, Belfast and Johannesburg. A set of notecards, titled “I Paid the Light Bill Just to See Your Face,” is also being released simultaneously, just in case you’re searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day card for your sweetheart.

Read the complete article on Architizer here.


“Love Letter,” Stephen Powers in Philadelphia.  Image via.