My very brief encounter with street art in the great city of Pittsburgh was pretty enlightening. They have an interesting take on things, judging from their use of murals especially, which range from entire buildings with every square inch covered in colorful art, to rollgates idolizing local sports icons, to one-off pieces that fill in otherwise blank canvases. And yeah, more color than not – and whether obvious or subconscious, yellow usually finds its way into the palette (not your typical street art color).
Here are some samples – again this is just what I saw on brief walking tours (each originated in and finished in the Strip District, fwiw):
This gem of a community mural is titled “The Strip Mural” and it is by Carley Parrish and Shannon Pultz, from October 2010. It’s a project of Sprout public art and a stenciled spraypaint label on the wall (not seen) thanks the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Union Concrete & Construction Corp., The Laurel Foundation, The PNC Foundation, and the Hermanowski and Troiani Families. Again, lots of yellow in this mural – the streets are lined with yellow brick! The ‘Hermanowski’ family name can be seen in the detail shot, above the flying sub sandwich; note the birds are metal cutouts and suspended from the wall on armature; the blue kid musicians are really curious; you can see the mural is in front of a lot of parking spots, an outdoor garage, and when I was taking photos one of the attendants approached me and told me I was the only person he’d ever seen to take a photo of the said stencil label with the information about the mural – he then proceeded to tell me that each of the people depicted in the mural are from the community, but that a homeless guy didn’t want to be shown, so instead they depicted the shopping cart he pushed around, complete with high-heel shoes dangling off the handle! A great story from the locals.
I mentioned local sports icons; here are a couple:
Jeremy Raymer is the artist for both rollgates.
Here are some loose shots throughout the Strip, Millvale, Lawrenceville, and Downtown areas:
A nearby jazz club/building had this full-side mural on view (details):
Along the north shore of downtown, the Allegheny isn’t but 15′ behind me:
(note all the bridge work in this area is yellow!)
Love this playful piece that toys with perception and phases – by that I mean depicting soft, rubbery beach balls on a cold, hard, concrete surface:
Lastly, and this one is special, is Salem’s Market & Grill, a halal “mid-eastern foods & catering” facility with “international groceries, fresh beef, goat, lamb and poultry” – it is absolutely covered with depictions of international monuments, symbols, and slogans & quotes from current (Obama) and historical (Anne Frank) figures:
So, so cool!