Though probably not a big shocker to any Philly bike owners, about 300 thousand bicycles are stolen each year in the U.S, most stripped and discarded, left to rot on the streets they once roamed.
In hopes of drawing attention to the root of this problem—insufficient bike parking—professional local hip-hop choreographer, dancer, comedian and artist, Raphael Xavier has spent the past 12 years photographing the abandoned steel horses he’s come across.
Over 400 of these photographs will now be memorialized in a thought-provoking volume slatted for publication this fall. During a two-night exhibition/book-in-progress event at the Painted Bride, locals are invited to not only get a sneak peak at his collection of work, but submit their own stolen bike stories and photos for possible inclusion in the final book. Actually, if you’ve had a bicycle go missing in this city in the last decade, there’s a good chance it’s already been included given that Xavier shot 90 percent of his photos right here in Philly.
When he’s not scouring the streets for lost bikes, the self-taught hip-hop artist is busy choreographing works with the Brandywine School for Ballet and last year, he was deemed one of the top 25 choreographers in Philly. Currently, Xavier is also working on the manuscript for another book titled, Breaking Test—Defining of a Culture and this summer, he’ll be setting out on the 30-city, Unofficial Guide To Audience Watching Tour.
Should you want to chat with multitalented artist and possibly thank him for finding your long-lost bike, you can do so during a meet-and-greet on Thursday night. Once “No Bicycle Parking” hits the shelves, he’ll be returning to the Painted Bride for a release party and extended print exhibit.
Thurs/21-Fri/22, 12-8pm. Free. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.