Street Shrine 1: A Notorious Story/ Roberto Lugo, 2019/ Courtesy of Wexler Gallery

Wexler Gallery presents Street Shrine 1: A Notorious Story by Roberto Lugo

Street Shrine 1: A Notorious Story, an immersive installation by Roberto Lugo, seamlessly fuses high design, graffiti, hip-hop, craft history, pop culture, and porcelain. The installation consists of two large-scale funerary urns, a ceramic teddy bear, and graffiti-inspired wallpaper that evokes the makeshift memorials for victims of gun violence often found on the sidewalks in the kind of neighborhood where Lugo was raised. His choice of materials and embellished designs are rich in associations with high society and the social elite, however the imagery is grounded in his personal experiences and represents voices that have often been overlooked and underrepresented. His porcelain objects are intended to archive the narrative of his community and can last thousands of years.

Lugo is an emerging artist, activist, poet, and educator based in Philadelphia. Having grown up in Kensington, a neighborhood infamous for extreme poverty and inequality, Lugo’s approach to artwork is informed by graffiti and hip-hop. Drawing from many disciplines and conventions, he uses his knowledge of craft history to create sculptural mash-ups that combine seemingly incongruous cultures into a single tradition. His work speaks to both an art-educated and mainstream audience.

Challenging the traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that coexists in the expressive realms of design and fine art. Questioning and testing the boundaries of these fields, Wexler Gallery aims to present functional and nonfunctional work that consistently celebrates innovation as much as aesthetic beauty. Wexler Gallery opened in 2000 in the historic district of Old City, Philadelphia. Since then, the gallery has proudly showcased extraordinary work by both master artists and the emerging talent of today.