Conrad Benner is a photographer, curator, and founder of streetsdept.com and @streetsdept—2 platforms that reveal the creativity and breadth of Philadelphia's vibrant street art scene. Benner says that the "primary focus of Streets Dept is documenting and celebrating street art and graffiti, but I do also explore muralism and other forms of commissioned public art as well as architecture and creative public spaces."
Street art takes many forms, from wheatpasted artwork on walls and yarn bombing-- where everyday street objects are crocheted--to hand-painted or printed stickers and large-scale murals. Benner notes that street art has "evolved over the decades as artists moved from merely spray painting their names to creating more complex work" and "it is the biggest and most significant art movement we've had in generations."
Since founding Streets Dept in 2011, Benner has become one of the most influential advocates for Philadelphia's street art scene and has been called "Philadelphia's foremost curator in street art." Benner was recently named 'One of the 100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia' by Philadelphia Magazine and his blog has been cited as one of the 'Best Blogs for Travellers' by The Guardian. Benner's photography has been highlighted by Mashable and Instagram and printed in Time Magazine and Encyclopedia Britannica. Benner's work has truly fueled the awareness and popularity of Philadelphia's dynamic street art and has introduced Philly street artists to audiences around the world with his 140,000-ish Instagram followers.
Photo by Elijah Dominique