The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Joe Boruchow, the quintessential Philadelphia street artist, has been quite busy lately. One merely needs to wander around the streets of Philly and encounter his black and white wheatpasted murals to know he’s practically everywhere. His visual style is unmistakable and sharp, but now you can also hear what he has to say on his band’s new album. He also has a retrospective show hanging right now and a couple of new installations.
The Nite Lights recently released their latest EP entitled “Xie Xie,” which means “thank you” in Chinese. It’s a chill mix of straightforward beats paired with meandering guitar riffs. The lyrics are a personal narrative dealing with day-to-day frustrations and revelations. Needless to say, it’s pretty great to have a chance to listen to an artist that is already so visible otherwise.
In participation with Fleisher Art Memorial and fellow artist Yis Goodwin, Boruchow took the album cover of “Xie Xie” to new heights when he helped install it as a storefront installation at Fleisher’s Teen Lounge at415 South St. A group of Philadelphia area teenagers helped put together the window display, entitled “Everyone Has Their Own Arrow.” The installation is modeled after the ancient image of Saint Sebastian pierced by arrows, but done in the artist’s signature abstract, highly contrasted style.
A street-facing trash can is the newest location for one of Boruchow’s ubiquitous wheatpasted pieces, which was just photographed for his website yesterday. The aptly named diptych "A Look Inside of a Pig" / "Tools For Dissection" literally shows a somewhat gory, but scientific take on anatomy and the surgical tools involved with dissection.
Certainly not least of his current accomplishments is a retrospective show at Salon 1522. The exhibit is called “Cut Creator,” in reference to the cut paper techniques used in creating his artwork. Nearly 40 works made by Boruchow since 2008 are on view at the gallery. Be sure to see the show and also come out to the closing reception this Friday, March 30. There will be a free screening of his film “Stuffed Animals: A Story in Paper Cutouts” at 7 p.m. before the party commences.