John Stango

John Stango, Philly’s Pop Art Daddy

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Shame on me for not getting around to interviewing John Stango this time out, but no matter. Since before the days of his Way Back Machine dance parties at 2nd & City in the early 1980s, Southwest Philadelphia painter John Stango has long been a paragon of Pop and a doyenne of cultural socio-cultural art.

How important to me is John Stango? I have four large scale Stangos hanging in my home, two of which he painted just for me.

From his epic mixed media “Madonna/Interview” (which I’m guessing Madonna owns, as she, like Swizz Beatz and Sly Stallone, collect Stango totems) to his Star-Spangled Banner (perfect for the upcoming holiday weekend) to his legendary “American Muscle Car” to the fact that he was silk screening Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany’s imagery decades before IKEA… a Stango is a necessity, a unique dive into post-Warholian Pop culture.

John stango

Remembering John from Southwest Philly and his pre-Tyler School of Art days, I know that he’s long had Americana in his blood, having a mom as an artist (Frances Elaine Rockwell), the soul of graphic design in his heart and the head of an advertising exec as he was a visual merchandiser and display artist for Macy, Bloomingdales, and I think, Urban Outfitters way early on.

John stango

Currently, his work can be witnessed, and you really do need to see it close up, at Morton Contemporary Gallery on South 13th Street.

Anyone that is seeking something bold and audacious beyond fireworks and hot dogs this weekend would do well to see, and buy, a John Stango up-close.

John stango

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