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Sean 9 Lugo “The World is a Ghetto” Mural Dedication

August 17, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sean 9 Lugo "The World is a Ghetto" Mural Dedication

HAHAxParadigm and Mural Arts present the mural dedication of Sean 9 Lugo’s debut Mural Arts public artwork project, “The World Is a Ghetto”. The artwork is an expression of life in the city through different people and their stories from a collection of thirty-two different hand-painted, then wheat-pasted window views that create a collective portrait of our city.

Friday, August 18th, 2023 • 4:00 PM

Location: 448 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Parking lot next to Love City Brewing)

Each year, Sean 9 Lugo takes time to highlight various Philadelphians that have made an impact in his life through his ongoing “Clones of Illadelph” series. This mural combines highlights from that series with additional nods to moments throughout the artist’s career with the full setting inspired by “The World is a Ghetto” album by War.

The artist created each window view individually over a years-long process. These pieces that started in a sketchbook were then enlarged and painted individually, important prep work in his studio for every installation the artist works on. The bricked-over window areas were sealed and painted in a light grey to be similar to a glass window reflection. Importantly, the artist installed the pieces through a wheat pasting process, remaining true to how he has always created and installed his “uncommissioned” artwork on the street and applying it to a formal mural process.

“The concept behind this mural is inspired by War’s The World Is A Ghetto album cover art. Growing up in an urban neighborhood, on hot summer days everyone’s apartment windows would be wide open. You would hear music, laughter, arguments, and chisme (gossip). While War’s album art is a more direct reflection of where I grew up – the world I knew was a ghetto – I wanted to bring a similar vibe to the Spring Garden neighborhood.

Each window has a voice, you can hear the conversations behind each one. It is open to interpretation for viewers to create their own stories between windows and opens up the conversation on the world we live in.” –Sean 9 Lugo

See the mural being installed by artist Sean 9 Lugo and mural artist Frank Chappell here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cs2Wz64u5oK/ (video credit: Langston Clement, @foxx_boogie)


ABOUT THE ARTIST | Sean 9 Lugo‘s artwork is reflective of the diverse culture that surrounded him as a child growing up in Hudson County, N.J. with parents from Puerto Rico and Cuba. His street art is known for representing the duality of both Latin and American culture and experiences through masks that can either misconceive or stereotype perceptions.

Sean 9 Lugo’s artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibitions around the United States including The National Liberty Museum, University City Arts League, Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, Paradigm Gallery, Deep Space Gallery, Jinxed Fishtown, LITM, 58 Gallery, Dis Micro Gallery, Northern Soul, Thinkspace Gallery, Arch Enemy Arts, Clutter Gallery, Inner State Gallery, Honolulu Museum, 17 Frost Gallery, My Plastic Heart, and Succulent Gallery. His murals can be seen from New York to the Dominican Republic through projects with Track Takeover, Wall Therapy, Welling Court, Arte Sano, Central Ave Sid, Arts Org NYC, Fashion Institute of Technology, HAHAxParadigm, NJ Beer Company, and Savage Habbit. He has been featured in national and international publications such as Metro, Al Día, WHYY, WXPN, Streets Dept, Brooklyn Street Art, Fecal Face, Street Art NYC, Robots Will Kill, News 12 New Jersey, and Jersey Journal.


ABOUT HAHAxPARADIGM | HAHA x Paradigm is a Philadelphia-based initiative that works with artists, creatives, and brands on an international level to create valuable art experiences.

Co-Founded in 2012 by Ginger Rudolph (HAHA Magazine), Jason Chen, and Sara McCorriston (Paradigm Gallery), HAHA x Paradigm curates and produces engaging public art projects on the thought that memorable art experiences are built on the benefits generated for the individual.


ABOUT MURAL ARTS PHILADELPHIA | Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For over 35 years, Mural Arts have united artists and communities through a collaborative and equitable process, creating over 4,000 artworks that have transformed public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts aims to empower people, stimulate dialogue, and build bridges to mutual understanding through projects that attract artists from Philadelphia and around the world and programs that focus on youth education, restorative justice, mental health and wellness, and public arts preservation. Popular mural tours offer a firsthand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ iconic and unparalleled collection, earning Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “Mural Capital of the World.” For more information, call 215-685-0750 or visit muralarts.org. Follow us on social media: @muralarts on Twitter and Instagram, MuralArtsPhiladelphia on Facebook, and phillymuralarts on YouTube.


ABOUT THE CURATOR/PROJECT MANAGER | Sara McCorriston is the co-owner of Paradigm Gallery + Studio and director of Paradigm Art Advisory. She has worked with her business partner, Jason Chen, since 2010 and the two have curated exhibitions at home in Philadelphia and for art fairs around the US. Sara has had the honor of guest-curating and jurying exhibitions for arts institutions and museums as a representative of the current pulse of the international arts scene. Sara also has experience building corporate art collections and organizing and executing public art projects through HAHAxParadigm. As an art advisor, she manages private and public commissioned artwork, from murals to hotel collections to outdoor sculpture, and works with artists to create meaningful collaborations between creators and clients. Through her process, she is able to navigate the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities of each location, ensuring that everything is tailored to her client’s individual needs, on time and on budget. Recent clients include Hotel Revival Baltimore, 12 Stories DC, Marriott, South Street Headhouse District, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, CBRE, PRDC Properties, LDV Hospitality, Sonder Hospitality Company, and Elwyn Children’s Behavioral Health Services.

Learn more here: https://www.hahaxparadigm.com

Photo credit: Jason Chen for HAHAxParadigm

This project was created with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia and Arts + Crafts Holdings.