This is the first part of an ongoing series that has no projected end, because the subject lacks a dead line and is based around an artist's free will and a canvas that is larger than many artists will ever have chance to work. The artist is Get Up (@GetUpArt) and the canvas is the entire Electric Factory, one of the largest venues in Philadelphia. I've seen the likes of The Prodigy, Skinny Puppy, Shpongle, Insane Clown Posse, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, to give you an idea of the kind of venue it is. If you have been to Philly at all within the last few years, and especially if you live here, you have seen Get Up's work. His most popular piece is an image of Ben Franklin holding a boombox. Other images like the Philly Phanatic spray-painting a Philly's P, two swing era dancers with bandanas masking their faces, and more deliver an impeccable juxtaposition of Philadelphia's historical culture and its modern, urban culture, heavily informed and influenced by hip hop. The street art scene in Philly is thriving with eye catching artists whose bodies of work play out like sagas with character development, plot twists, and topical content that serve as an explanation of the city's social, economic, philosophical, and spiritual climate. Get Up has been on the frontier of this movement for some time, as his work has come into high demand for its witty representation of Philadelphia culture.
He is in the process of doing extensive renovations to the Electric Factory with his signature pieces as well as some new ones created just for this project. His work is on both levels of the venue, in the bathrooms, corridors, and even back stage. This is a long running project that is developing nicely and will silently add to the euphoria of the live concert atmosphere for generations to come.
Here are few shots of the work in progress and so far.
|Entrance to downstairs restrooms|
|Skyline + speakers stencil|
|Upstairs bar [detail]|
|Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes stencil in progress [Women's bathroom]|
|Questlove, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince [Men's bathroom]|
|Downstairs men's bathroom|
|Tammi Terrell [Backstage entrance to stage]|
|Entrance to downstairs's men's bathroom|
Future parts of this series will include a more in depth look at the personalities captured in this project. In the mean time, here is a video of the process of creating, cutting, then painting a stencil of the late Philly-born Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes:
Stay tuned for more.