Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Going through my old papers I found this clipping from what is probably the Philadelphia City Paper, I think 1993.

"He may wear Jiffy Pop packaging as a headdress and mutter incomprehensible sermons. But the colored chalk creations of street personality Paris are the real deal, aesthetically impressive and rich in biblical allegory. Paris knows he's good, too - he'll charge a pretty penny if you want to buy a piece of his work. The Sun Ra of Philly art. - J.G."

Good, another piece of Paris documentation! Go to this 8/11/05 post, if you need to get the background on Paris.

Who is J.G.? Maybe J.G. has some photos of Paris, or of his work? I've been into this occasional trackdown of Paris for about eight years, and have found only one photo... and no other extant examples of his work, although I remember seeing pieces in people's apartments long ago... and was told that John Ollman had bought some.

Roberta discovered this other piece of documentation, after I wrote to her and Libby early in 2004, hoping they would post something on their Philadelphia artblog, a listing for a 1991 show that Paris was included in at the Moore College of Art -

"Found Ground - Paintings and drawings on readymade surfaces by sixteen Philadelphia artists including Alfred Bendiner, Rachel Bliss, Salvador Casco, Charles Crumb, Linh Dinh, Rafael Ferrer, Thomas Gartside, Todd Gilens, Anthony—Petr Gorny, Kate Javens, Virgil Marti, Beth McHenry, Quentin Morris, Gerald Nichols, and Paris/Holy Joseph. January 11–February 16, 1991"

Maybe I can write to Moore, or the curator of the show, and ask if they have any photo documentation?

Last time I posted on Paris I hadn't yet figured out how to post more than one image to the blog. It's nice to be able to post these images now. This is a selection of some of my Paris pieces -

Two peacocks and flowers. LArGeR.

Jesus walking on water, and maybe praying in the boat at the same time. The bottom reads "God Bless America".

The back has a similar drawing.

Sweet piece. Very hard - impossible - to see in this image, but there is a second tiny saint sitting atop his staff.

This one is too good, and it is the BACK of that first peacock piece above. They are on a thick-ish kind of cardboard... when I win the mega-millions they will be separated and framed.

Is this a picture of a dreadlocked Jesus in peace talks with Mohammed, moderated by Mary?

This is the only known photo of Paris, at least, known to me and the guy that gave it to me. I put an ad in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1999(?) asking for any info or remembrances of Paris, from which I received a single response. That person remembered Paris, and told me of a shelter that Paris sometimes visited.

A couple years after that I was able to get to Philadelphia and visit the shelter, meeting a staffperson who remembered Paris very well, with great fondness... and who even had a photo of Paris near his desk.

I like that in this photo you can see some crayons or drawing tools on top of that shelf, next to what is, I BET, a ring of foil headgear. It also appears that he is covering himself with one of his drawings, which is what he did on the streets. He slept on and under them.

Read the old post to fill in any gaps to this Paris story, and LOOK here to see my full Paris set.


roberta said...

Martin, I wish I knew who J.G. is but I don't. 1993, city paper....hmmm. i can try to hunt in their archives. i'll get back to you if i find anything. Since I write for the Weekly (which is often confused with City paper) I really don't know the writers there. but I'll poke around.

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