Sunday, December 18, 2005

TheGoodReverend's Tour of Philly

Philadelphia's Santa Claus–like artist-in-residence, Isaiah Zagar, is opening up his mosaic and junk Magic Garden and studio on South Street this weekend to raise money to save the renegade art landmark:
Rarely does Zagar let people wander among the bike wheels, beer bottles, broken statues, and other strange stuff he has mortared together to form the garden's passageways, near 10th and South.

But the mystically artistic Zagar, known for tile-and-mirror mosaics that embellish many buildings near where he works and lives, is practical. The garden's curious corridors lead to his studio and gallery, where one-of-a-kind Zagar shirts go for $135, bowls for $350, and straw paintings for up to $700.

. . . .

The Magic Garden dates to 1994, when the long-haired, bushy-bearded artist bought a building at 1020-22 South St. that backed up to his Kater Street studio. Next door to the new acquisition was a derelict double lot, which he did not own.

Nonetheless, he cleaned it up and went to work. Art grew.
Link (via Philly Future). Albert "DragonBall" Yee blogs about his visit and has an excellent flickr set from which the above photo is borrowed. Zagar has a bit of a Philly tour of his own, directing visitors to each of his public installations. Between this and the Mural Arts Program, Philly has become a wonderland of quirky public art.

Previously on TheGoodReverend's Tour of Philly . . .

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Image credits: DSC_5206 by dragonballyee, acquired through Creative Commons license.