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Philadelphia artist Joe Boruchow is known for his black paper cutouts that he transforms into large-scale handpainted murals, street wheatpastes, and gallery installations. Boruchow has been creating paper cutout designs since 2003. His original cutouts are intimate in scale and fragile due to the nature of the medium. To transcend these realities and create contemporary and relevant work, Boruchow decided to photocopy his designs and staple them onto telephone poles or enlarge them and paste them onto walls or architectural objects throughout the city.

For him, the activation of placing his art on the streets for public view was integral to his aesthetic. Hey says, “I loved the feedback…I loved that process…being out, talking to people.” There is an energy and an immediacy, a freedom, and certainly a temporal aspect to noncommissioned street art. It’s a platform for artists to hone their skills, their visual voices, and offers unparalleled public visibility.

Today, Boruchow’s recognizable and distinctive black-and-white designs are seen throughout Philadelphia as commissioned murals, wheatpasted on the street, or exhibited in galleries. His compositions include geometric designs, architectural elements, and Philly-centric themes both past and present. He also creates cutouts about current day politics and social issues. Boruchow’s aesthetic and his innovative process have pushed this traditional craft-based medium into the public art realm.

Visit joeboruchow.blogspot.com/.

Working on Uptown Locomotion photo by Conrad Benner

Photo: Conrad Benner @streetsdept