Sunday, February 7, 2016

Frank Rizzo dons a bikini

Is hot pink Rizzo's color? Street artist Ishknits finds out.

Frank Rizzo dons a bikini

Former mayor Frank Rizzo gets a street art makeover courtesy of Jessie Hemmons
Former mayor Frank Rizzo gets a street art makeover courtesy of Jessie Hemmons Conrad Benner / Streets Dept.

Jessie Hemmons, a/k/a Ishknits, a street artist and yarnbomber, set her sights on the Frank Rizzo statue in front of the Municipal Services Building at 15th and JFK, giving our former mayor a hot pink bikini.

(See more pictures at Streets Dept, who provided the photo.)

Hemmons put Rizzo in swimwear for a segment on "Streetosphere," a French TV show about street art, that is currently filming a segment on Philly artists. Today, they're profiling noted muralist Yis Goodwin, a/k/a NoseGo.

"[Rizzo] is just a historical figure that I don’t think should be idolized in Philadelphia," Hemmons said. "It’s something I always wanted to do."

Hemmons wanted to emasculate Rizzo in a funny way, knowing full well that if the former mayor was alive today, he wouldn't be happy with his visage donning hot pink swimwear. The security guards at the Muncipal Services Building agreed on at least that one count, removing the bikini shortly after Hemmons attached it to Rizzo. Hemmons hoped that security wouldn't see the bikini from the back. "It drew a crowd and that got it noticed," Hemmons said.

This isn't the first ubermasculine figure Hemmons has made clothing for. Last year, she made a sweater for the Rocky statue, emblazoned with "Go see the art."

"As a female street artist and a female in general, I tend to put these feminine pieces on highly masculine figures in our city," Hemmons said. "It’s a way to stand out as a female that’s also humorous."

Hemmons has previously worked with the city, including a project with the water department, but she's not worried about how her Rizzo bikini will affect her relationship with the city.

UPDATE: Hemmons put a statement up on her website about the piece.

Staff Writer
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
If you've got an insatiable appetite for the latest and greatest celebrity fodder, we've got your fix! Our Celebrities & Gossip blog highlights breaking local and national celebrity news.

Molly Eichel Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter