Updated Nov. 11
The work of underground street artists, which has become a recognizable part of the Philadelphia cityscape, is usually elusive. Though it’s displayed publicly on a daily basis, you can’t wrap your arms around it or save it for later viewing — and installations can change on a whim.
At a mid-autumn show on South Street, you’ll get a chance to take some street art home.
Conrad Benner of the Streets Dept blog is producing his second annual art fair at Tattooed Mom on Friday, Nov. 15. It’ll showcase several legendary Philly street stars, plus some up-and-coming artists.
Nine different creators will sell their wares at the 21+ bazaar, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on that day only. It’s a unique opportunity, Benner said, make a small piece of the city’s vibrant public art scene your own.
“This is an art form, and generally it doesn’t have a space for you to come inside and purchase it — [or] see it in one space,” Benner told Billy Penn.
The market will be highly curated. With eight and a half years of street art experience under his belt, Benner hand-picked all the participants — choosing each one purposefully to create a representative mix.
Here’s who you can expect to see:
- Kid Hazo, the infamous masked Philly street artist — sorta like a local blend of Andy Warhol and Banksy
- The cartoon-style sticker artist Under Water Pirates
- Symone Salib, known for their contemporary wheatpaste portraits
- SEPER, a lifelong graffiti artist who produces abstract murals
- Morg, another sticker artist recognized for art of the toilet variety
- Nicole Nikolich aka Lace in the Moon, the yarn bomber who attracted Taylor Swift’s attention
- Faith Davis Art, who loves to paint a good narwhal
- Darkmeal, the one behind various vibrant, abstract stickers posted all over the city
- Taped Off TV, who uses posters to explore the intersection between pop culture and politics
On sale will be various creations — handmade stickers, prints, wheatpastes, yarn bombs. Prices will vary: think $15 for a sticker or hundreds for a bigger-ticket item.
Benner promised he’d reveal a few specific items up for grabs in advance via the Facebook event page. But most of the merch will remain a secret by design. “I want people to come and be surprised,” he said.
Technically this is the show’s the second iteration, but Benner considered last year’s event as more of a test. He said the first fair was more spontaneous, and he didn’t have as much time to promote it. This year, he thinks the pop-up shop has the potential to create a legit revenue stream for participants.
“I have so many readers who really love these artists,” Benner said. “They get so many likes on Instagram — but likes can’t pay your rent.”
To critics who might say he’s commercializing an art form that should remain free and accessible, that’s his response — and neither Benner nor Tattooed Mom is taking commission on sales.
“This isn’t Urban Outfitters,” Benner said. “These are artists selling directly to the people who might want to purchase their work.”
Scroll down to see more of what you can expect to find at the show.