A Love Letter to the City
Steve Powers and a team of sign painters worked in west Philadelphia in 2009 to paint a love letter meant for one, but with meaning for all. After six months of community meetings and six months of painting, fifty walls painted with the give and take of relationships now greet 10,000 commuters daily. The Love Letter to the City arose out of similar sign projects in Coney Island (2003) and Dublin (2007). Its success has led Powers to realise similar projects in Syracuse, NY; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Brooklyn, NY and Johannesburg, South Africa. While the surfaces and conditions varied greatly, the method of work has remained the same: translate conversation with the community into public communication in the community.
In 1999, Steve Powers stopped writing graffiti and tending bar to dedicate himself to being a full-time artist. His work has been shown at Venice and Liverpool Biennials, as well as numerous shows at Deitch Projects. Powers was a Fulbright scholar in 2007. He used the grant to paint in the streets of Dublin and Belfast.