On the Philadelphia banks of the Delaware River sits a former anthracite coal loading pier that was once part of The Reading Railroad's sprawling Port Richmond Yards.
Graffiti Pier as it is now known, was decommissioned and abandoned by Conrail in 1991 and is now an industrial Stonehenge that serves as an unsanctioned open-air gallery of art produced by street artists, graffiti geniuses, and mere wall taggers.
Hidden down a dirt path and covered by overgrown brush, Graffiti Pier has seen an increase of visitors and participants thanks, in part, to Instagram and the use of geotags.
The pier offers one of the best views of the Philadelphia Skyline and sits on the other side of Interstate 95 from the recently gentrified Fishtown and Port Richmond neighborhoods.
This collection of photos were taken between 2014 and 2016.
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About the Author
In 2005, Penn made a conscious decision to leave his career in hospitality after finding his father's 35mm camera. Focused on his historic Old City Philadelphia neighborhood that he's called home for the last 23 years, one image kept peeking through, between the brick facades of Georgian style homes and artist loft-style cast-iron buildings. It was The Benjamin Franklin Bridge, a structure that made ferryboat captains, of which his fraternal grandfather was one, obsolete. The completion of the Ben Franklin Bridge led Penn's grandfather into a new direction and it inadvertently became responsible for the launch of Michael's new career.
A long exposure night shot, taken under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, caught the attention of a curator and led to Penn's 2007 solo show at The Silicon Gallery. The show featured his architecture photos with his new Benjamin Franklin Bridge series and began five years of representation by InLiquid and The Print Center of Philadelphia. Michael continued to play an active role in self-representation and inclusion in a number of national and global group shows around Philadelphia, New York City, and Santiago Chile.
Inspired by the Japanese Provoke Movement, Penn's street photography projects include the 1000 photo collection The Philadelphia Project, Out of New York, and Welcome to Market East.
More info: http://www.michaelpennphotography.com