Philadelphia: The Magic Gardens

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Philadelphia: The Magic Gardens

November 15, 2011
03:22pm

Iconography and typography at The Magic Gardens.

Spend any time around South Street and you will notice them. There are mosaics on building facades, down alleys, under window boxes and on rooftops. Artist Isaiah Zagar started creating them in the 1960s. In 1994, on a vacant lot near his studio, Zagar began constructing a massive three dimensional, 3000 square foot mosaic environment on several levels.

Wall and floor detail
Wall and floor detail at The Magic Gardens.

The Magic Gardens is now open to the public. Part self-portrait and part social commentary, the kaleidoscopic, mixed media layers of bottles, shards, glass, bicycle wheels, and original tile work form a sort of running commentary using specific iconography and typographic messages from the artist’s life and times. It is a wild, unfettered, and unusual space unlike any other.

The main courtyard at The Magic Gardens.
The main courtyard at The Magic Gardens.

Mixed media mosaics at The Magic Gardens.
Mixed media mosaics at The Magic Gardens.