June – July 2014
We Paint Houses: Part Two
Part Two opening reception Friday, July 11, 6-10pm
Felipe Castelblanco and PRACTICE invite you to celebrate the life and death of a temporary business which explored the lives of migrant workers in Philadelphia.
For June, PRACTICE gallery served as the main office for a temporary business established by Colombian artist Felipe Castelblanco. The business offered Philadelphians the opportunity to get their house painted at a price they could name themselves. For those who hired the service, and for some who hadn’t, Felipe arrive on site with a hired crew of Latino day laborers, and set up easels outside the clients home, to begin the oil paintings of their house.
By creating an on-street spectacle, the project enabled encounters between disparate communities, especially around issues that normally segregate: identity, language, economic and cultural backgrounds. This project allowed a passing audience to engage with an often invisible migrant laborer community in Philadelphia, and wielded fascinating insights. We Paint Houses was so much more than a business – it was a performative framework to enact the switching of roles between clients and customers, viewers and participants, and laborers and artists.
During the month of July, visitors to PRACTICE will see photos of the laborers at work, the unsold oil paintings for auction, a video interview with the participating day laborers, and an interview with the artist sharing stories of his interactions with the day laborers. Felipe will be on site at the opening reception to speak about his experiences in Philadelphia. Together, this collection of documents memorializes the We Paint Houses business as performance and exhibition.
About the Artist
Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist, working at the intersection of socially engaged and new media art. Through urban interventions, video, performance, sculpture and networked installations, his work creates participatory experiences of publicness and enables coexistent encounters between unlikely audiences and across vast distances. Felipe attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2012 and holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been shown internationally, including the San Diego Museum of Art; FAD festival in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; FIVAC festival in Camaguey Cuba; the Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh; the Valenzuela Klenner Gallery in Bogotá Colombia, and in storefronts and street corners throughout United States. Felipe is currently the John Fergus Post MFA Fellow at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he also directs Mote Gallery, an experimental space focused on showcasing the work of emerging international artists. Felipe’s work can be seen at: www.felipecastelblanco.com
We Paint Houses: Part Two