|One panel of the South Street/4th Street Facade mosaic series by Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia, August 2010|
Among Isaiah Zagar's many public mosaic murals in South Philly and beyond is this 1996 series, dubbed 4th Street Facade, just off of South Street. It clearly shows the Cubist bent of his work, as well as his populist spirit that celebrates not national heroes or celebrities but everyday people in all their... well, not exactly glory, which is exactly what makes us so human and worthy of real celebration.
here to learn more about his vision and process. One of the more compelling lines from the video, which struck a personal note for me, comes when Zagar says, "I used the technique of mosaicking to get well, to get better." Art can heal both creator and viewer, in ways we might not even realize until we look up from our feet one day and see the life around us, and the sky, and the possibilities.
Another quote I like: "I'm not a soldier, I'm not a president, I'm an artist. I need to embellish."