I'm stealing this blog post from another art teacher...I love installations and each year I do at least one installation piece with my students. I think that Zagar's work is fun, and insightful. We should all be looking for ways to make our world a prettier, happier place. So here's some info for all you who'd like to see a bit of fun, and think on what makes our environment happy:
Isaiah Zagar is 71 years old and says he might have been an artist since birth. He tells the story of his mother’s reaction when he was given crayons to color on a piece of paper and instead began not just coloring the paper but let his hand and eyes be the guides that led him across the table, then the floor, the refrigerator, the wall and finally the ceiling… where his artistic reverie was interrupted by his mother’s hysterical cries. He says, realising the impact of his action on other human beings was all he needed to know that this was were his path had to lead.
Influenced by folk artist Clarence Schmidt in 1959 and enforced in his opinion about him in 1961 where a MoMA exhibit “The Art of Assemblage” showcased works of masters like Picasso and Gaudi alongside that of Schmidt, Zagar continued in this vein to this day. He creates mosaic street murals in Philly, the US and for international installations.
This a detail of a piece done on Randolph Court.
Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden on the 1,000 block of South Street in Philadelphia is a maze of ornately designed mosaics with inlaid pieces of poetry. I know he says he’s inspired by Schmidt, but I’m pretty sure I see more than a little Gaudi here.
The collection of his work of 40 years seems endless and each piece holds new visual and contextual treasures to discover. So to all you mom’s out there: When you’re kid is standing on the table coloring the ceiling, may want to go easy. See what happens when you let the sweet little ones color outside the lines.