On Saturday my friend Katy and I were wandering around Philadelphia after a delicious visit to the Reading Terminal Market and a horrifying visit to the Mütter Museum, and we stumbled upon Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. I was familiar with the artist responsible for this place, Isaiah Zagar, because I've seen the documentary about him, In a Dream. I have no idea when, where, or why I saw this documentary, which is perhaps a testament to both my shoddy memory of media I consume and the sheer volume of documentaries I've watched. It was a very fun place to walk around. It reminded me a little of the City Museum in St. Louis in its wacky artist's vision sort of vibe, although I have to say the City Museum wins out for its dangerous jungle gym appeal.
Magic Gardens is beautiful, though. Lots of passageways to explore.
More visual stimuli than anyone can possibly know what to do with.
Now, you might have spied in the last photo the thing that really caught my eye here. Zagar uses a technique where he presses crocheted and other lace items into the clay tiles he makes. They are so beautiful and I just started taking photos of them everywhere.
Given just how many of these tiles you can find in Magic Gardens, Zagar is clearly fascinated by the textures of lace fabrics. There's a positive and negative space thing going on in the tiles that seems to play on what's special about lace fabrics. Lace fabric is doubly interesting for what it can do with light--diffuse it, dapple it, etc, which I guess makes it a little more magical to me than these tiles. Still, I love these tiles and bought one in the gift shop!
My other fun find this weekend was at the NY Aquarium in Coney Island, NY. I was there running a 5K charity race for turtle conservation (appropriate, given my running speed). We toured the aquarium after the race and I met this adorable frog who wanted to pose with my on-the-go sock in progress.
So cute. The next post you'll be seeing from me will no doubt be a Rhinebeck recap. Is this the year I finally buy a fleece? What other treasures will come home with me? How many sheep will I pet and how much maple cotton candy will I eat? Stay tuned.