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Sagittarius in Bullet Holes on a Pink Wall | by Michael Macfeat
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Sagittarius in Bullet Holes on a Pink Wall

This is the constellation Sagittarius plotted in bullet holes in a pink wall.


Special thanks go out to Timothy Buckwalter, for updating his blog regularly and providing me constant entertainment and a fertile field of source material. Here are the URL's for Tim Buckwalter's blog and Flickr account:


I would also like to thank Zoe Strauss and her shadowy arts organization PAP who was responsible for the installation of her outdoor work "Woody Guthrie." This early work of Zoe's was an inspiration for my image above. The pink wall posted on Tim's blog reminded me of Zoe's early work and both Tim and Zoe's influence helped me conceive this, as much so if they actually collaborated on the piece with me. It was my favorite mural in Philadelphia before its demolition several years ago. It was created by scratching constellations in a very dark blue plaster wall that had been exposed when the house next door was razed, leaving a debris strewn lot and this magnificent work. I happened upon this marvelous anonymous artwork while driving down Wharton Street in South Philadelphia sometime during the 90's. At the time I was living near 2nd and Wharton. It wasn't until years later through conversations with Zoe that the work in question was in fact her creation. I met Zoe Strauss through Cosmo Baker, who is one of my favorite dee jays. I used to go religiously to his R & B nights on Thursdays when he used to spin upstairs at the 700 Club. I advised Cosmo of the importance of attending one of Zoe's early I95 exhibitions, having no idea that Zoe was his sister, despite the fact that I had known Cosmo for years. It is fitting that this outdoor mural was NOT created under the aegis of the Mural Arts Program, which garners a great deal of publicity but is responsible for producing consistently abominable murals by the hundreds. The work of the Mural Arts Program enables bad painters to defile the visual aesthetic of every neighborhood lacking the sophistication to stop them. When my daughter Maura was young, a mural depicting the Mummers went up at the end of the block near my house. She warned me of its existence and said, "You and Kevin (Madden) need to do something about this." We had plans to destroy it but through lassitude and our schedules we never got around to it. We did later work with THE HERETICAL SOCIETY to distribute an essay called NO MORE UGLY MURALS. THE HERETICAL SOCIETY website was taken down long ago but a copy of this short essay still exists on an Anarchists Symposium page where it was redistributed. Here is the URL:

Zoe is an autodidact well known for her photography now but in the beginning she created anonymous outdoor installations as PAP. This work was magnificent and it was done with no financial motive. As much as I loved and supported the I95 exhibitions, my initial reaction to her installation in work seedy neighborhoods in South Philadelphia holds a special place in my heart. There was an innocence and immediacy to the work that would be difficult to reproduce today. Here are the URL's for Zoe Strauss' blog and Flickr account:


I would also like to wish John Black of Texas a belated happy birthday. John and I share November 24 as our birthdays, although I am much older than John, me having been born during the Neolithic period whereas John was born in the more recent Dark Ages. John has nothing to do with this image but, as he is already aware, I am a big fan of the work he does pointing the camera at the sky so, since it is near his birthday I suppose we can give him an assist on this image. Here is the URL for his Flickr account:


Thank you all. Without you three I might be even more cynical than I am now, if that is even possible.


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Taken on November 26, 2011