Thursday, August 6, 2015

Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia

Apparently I'm a bit behind on my Philadelphia murals and the works of famous street artists. Walking down Chestnut Street something caught my eye: one gigantic mural of Enrique Iglesias!

What? Why? I mean I love Enrique Iglesias, but why here?

Well, obviously I was wrong. 

It's actually a gigantic mural by a French street artist known only as "JR." The fifteen story mural of Ibrahim Saha, a Pakistani immigrant and Philadelphia resident, on the Graham Building is tucked in a small side street. Titled Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia, it is part of a global series focusing on immigration issues.

The mural is pretty astounding, even in just its size and photographic realism. Although not as abstract or unusual as JR's other works around the world, the large black and white portrait along Philadelphia's emerging shopping strip might get mistaken for a Calvin Klein billboard by some less informed passing by, myself obliviously included. 

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