The Gallery will be CLOSED on MONDAY May 27, 2019 HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

Exhibitions

PUBLIC SPACES

Group Exhibit

May 3 – June 23, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION:   Friday, May 3, 2019  6-10PM

Artists: Ali Six, Ava Grey, Czr Prz, Enivo, Jim Bachor, Jordan Miller, RenO Franczek, Storm Print City, Tony Passero and YAMS

PUBLIC SPACES exhibits an amalgam of artworks created in the studio by artists who are known for making their primary body of work in the public domain. Many are muralists who have left their mark all over the world. Others produce work out in the public domain, utilizing aspects and elements of those public spaces to make their art. Each artist has found their niche out in the public and have brought their work into other avenues. Many have street art and studio work that often connect. Ali Six, Ava Grey, Czr Prz, Enivo, Jim Bachor, Jordan Miller, RenO Franczek, Storm Print City, Tony Passero and YAMS have all brought their passion for street art and performance painting into a space different from others. With the creation of the new Chicago mural registry it is an exciting time for muralists and street artists as well as artists making work in public spaces. In the gallery’s own neighborhood, the WPB Mural Registry managed by the local Special Service Area #33 was used to help source Wicker Park muralists for the exhibition.

Ali Six:

Ali Six is a Chicago based street artist. Inspired by his mother, Ali Six grew up drawing cartoons. During his teenage years Ali Six worked to learn more about typography and graffiti culture. His desire for “street cred” and sense of adventure inspired him to begin his nocturnal journey. Known for his cartoon character Richie the Raccoon, Ali Six’s murals featuring Richie and other iconic and nostalgic characters can be seen all over the streets of Chicago. After almost a decade of making art on the streets, Ali Six continues to represent Richie on the streets and in galleries. When asked about his piece, “A Roof Over Your Head” his response was, “I came across the Street sign randomly walking home and, given its aesthetic, I figure it would go well as the background for my work. I’ve made my way through out my life various ways as an artist but a struggle for me while doing graffiti as a teen was my household. My mother disagreed with my life style and at times wouldn't let me under her roof at night, so public spaces, including the CTA, were my home for a night’s rest.”

Ava Grey:

Ava Grey is an artist duo comprised of Caesar Perez and Nick Glazebrook – a partnership that seamlessly weaves their individual visions and talents. Nick has a background in architecture and had a computer animation company for 11 years before following his passion to create with his hands and become a sculptor. Fueled by a mutual desire to create larger, more intricate works of art, Caesar and Nick started working together 6 years ago and have evolved their crafts and techniques to create art iconic to their own combined styles.

Czr Prz:

Caesar Perez is a multi-faceted urban contemporary street artist, illustrator and go-to taskmaster for the imagination. A hyper-creative, Caesar’s 20-year career has peppered the globe with various works. Although born and raised in Chicago, his stories have touched countless locations from America to Europe through works like large-scale murals, interior and exterior installations, paintings and sculptures as well as events and photo/video shoots in which he served as a creative director. His work is very thematic and in a constant flux, changing from urban landscapes to elements of nature, down to abstractions of tangible objects. Even when transitioning between mediums, his work still maintains techniques from years of illustration, painting, and design, leaving a signature style that is visible regardless of the subject matter. Much of his influences lie in varied art forms from Classical Renaissance and Impressionism to more modern genres such as graffiti and graphic novels.

For PUBLIC SPACES, Czr Prz is exhibiting two of his most recent paintings along with Ava Grey’s sculptures made from broken skateboards and used spray paint cans. The decks were all shredded on Chicago streets and skate parks, collected at local shops like Uprise and Prosper. The spray paint cans have all been saved from murals painted in Chicago by Ava Grey’s team as well as other artists in the community that wanted to see their paint cans immortalized into art instead of adding to the country’s waste problems. When asked about these materials Ava Grey stated, “We love transforming these used up tools of creative expression into lasting works of art that juxtaposes these urban materials into natural figures in new ways that celebrates the culture around us, and inspire others to be more thoughtful about how we treat our planet.”

Enivo:

The “Red Brand” series by Marcos Ramos Enivo was created to illustrate and criticize the influence that “Big American Brands” have on the daily lives of people around the world. Primarily in the world’s metropolises, the desire to possess these material items have been fetishized due to pop culture and brand recognition. The human figures at the center of each piece represent a few of the many cultures influenced by these “Red Brands.” The unity and mixture result in the creation of a new global culture. At the age of twelve, Marcos Ramos, Enivo, started his career as an artist. Since, the streets of Sao Paulo have been his canvas with his powerful murals expressing his ideas, passions and questions for the future. Each series is created as a means to find new ways of voicing his messages. With every new series Enivo experiments with new techniques and embraces spontaneity. When asked about his process Enivo answered, “All of the changes to my style and experiments I do to make my paintings are portals towards making new forms. My inner-consciousness, technique, and expression are all a transforming cycle. Each new series takes on what I and other artists have done before and is a step forward to new findings.” In addition to his “street” presence, Enivo has performed in many public campaigns, designed showrooms, currently teaches and is a founder and partner of the A7MA Gallery, where he works as curator and Gallery Director.

Jim Bachor:

“Trying to leave your mark in this world fascinates me. Ancient history fascinates me.” After volunteering to work on an archaeological dig in Pompeii Jim Bachor’s two interests merged. In the ancient world, mosaics were used to capture images of everyday life. These colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade. Mortar is mortar. An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? Bachor finds this idea simply amazing.Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, Bachor creates mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice. Bachor states, “My work locks into mortar unexpected concepts drawn from the present.

By harnessing and exploiting the limitations of this indestructible technique, my work surprises the viewer while challenging long-held notions of what a mosaic should be. Like low-tech pixels,hundreds if not thousands of tiny, hand-cut pieces of Italian glass and marble comprise my work. This work is my mark.” In this exhibition the gallery will have Jim Bachor’s book, “The Pot-hole Book.”

Jordan Miller:

Jordan Miller is an interdisciplinary and conceptual artist based out of Chicago. His work looks somewhere between streetlight and starlight, investigating the nuances of our relationship to contemporary constructed light environments. Some works invite reflection or celebration of our command over light, while others offer criticism of the systems, structures, and networks that form and signify this complex relation and the consequences of living within these lit environments. Miller questions, “As we over-light our word, what is lost when darkness is conquered?” His pieces may range from complex spatial installations to paintings, photographs, works on paper, and walking scores. Simply walking down the street one is subjected to a luminous tableau of light-text, from humming neon to imposing light boxes and now the scrolling, flashing, dancing LED displays and digital screens that have become synonymous with 21st century storefronts. Streetlights bathe our paths in a saturated, multicolored glow that, in conjunction with the lit signage, transform our movement through constructed spaces into phantasmagorias and immersive experiences of color, light, and shadow-play. Following the Light: A Pedestrian Signal Dérive was one of Miller’s first attempts to have work navigate a different path in relation to light and how we actively experience it on a daily basis by creating a walking score that utilized literal guidance from pedestrian crossing signals to move through the city. North State is a documentation of all of the text and language observed as light along Chicago’s North State Street on the evening of December 1, 2015, recorded in print in a small book.

Miller earned his Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he had previously completed his Post-Baccalaureate Certification. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design.

RenO Franczek:

Originally from Calumet City, RenO has lived and worked in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood since 2000. At the age of ten, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and then Ankylosing Spondylitis in his early 20s. As a result, he has used art to express the difficulties of living with these conditions. For the last 19 years, he has worked in healthcare and creates paintings, sketches, and sculpture in his free time. “Portrait Live City,” along with others, were painted live at The Note during their hip/hop nights. At the time, there were a lot of happenings on location during events.  The goal of the artists involved was to bring the art of plein air painting to the people. RenO expresses, “It was an exciting time to listen to the music and DJs, paint with friends, dance, and meet people from all areas of Chicago.” When asked about his inspiration, RenO responded “I’ve always felt that there is a similar parallel with the impressionist painters who brought their easels out of the studio and into the light of nature. In the 21st century it’s a different time, and for me when I painted, it was more about being encompassed by the energy of the ‘scene.’ Music is always my salvation or muse in times of struggle—I'm very intrigued with music's multilayered expression and its ability to literally resonate with the vibrancy of life. When painting these pieces, I wanted to attempt to control and experiment with color so that it coincides with the flow of different music to reflect a unique and modern image of vitality and energy.” RenO's work blurs the line between the figurative and the abstract.

Primarily a self-taught artist, RenO took drawing and painting electives while completing a Bachelor of Arts in Biology/Chemistry. Much of his knowledge of art history or technique came from reading books and asking questions. He was especially influenced by the style and essays of Jean Dubuffet, whose theories include a focus on what he called primitive imagery and using unconventional elements to create art depicting everyday life.

Tony Passero: 

Tony Passero is an American contemporary mixed media artist, author, filmmaker and muralist who splits his creative time between his Chicago and Orlando based studios. Passero not only paints on traditional canvas but also uses a wide variety of found random objects (such as abandoned furniture, discarded doors, scrapped street signs, etc.) and unique surfaces (metal, wood, fabric, etc.) as the base for his works. Passero’s work is often executed in a series or set format as he explores themes through repetition. Generally, Passero’s artwork is centered on a unique mash up of Latin, Creole and indigenous tones blended with a bit of a linear, cubist and expressionist styles. Those paintings are covered with patterns, text and codes of all kinds, including words, letters, numerals, ephemera, pictograms and symbols. With each new theme undertaken, Passero makes a point of exploring different and new painting techniques to aesthetically complete and complement each project he engages. From a public and commissioned art perspective, Passero has created installations and painted murals at a wide variety of locations such as “The CoyWolf Mural” on Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail.

Passero’s career started when he founded the advertising agency TribeAgency in 1998. He has served as lead creative director and CEO of the company over the last 20 years, employing many leading designers, technologists and strategists. Passero is also a celebrated graphic designer in his professional career as Creative Director of TribeAgency. He has created work for Baxter, BP, Chicago Fire, Dreamworks, Sony Music, Manchester United, Major League Soccer, Chicago Gateway Green, Sears, and Taco Bell along with many other local, national and international companies and brands.

Storm Print City:

Russell Muits’ ongoing body of work, Storm Print City, began in 2007 in Seattle, Washington. Since, he has traveled to over 50 American cities and has created five hundred plus unique prints on canvas. Muits has found that the people he meets and the thrill of discovering and learning about these overlooked objects is what has inspired him most. Muits expresses, “I'd like to continue to inspire others to look at their neighborhoods in a different light and maybe to find their own creative path.” “The Prize” was printed during Art Prize last year (2018). Each day of the first week, Muits’ sought out eight different antique utility covers. Once all the covers were printed, Muits hung “The Prize” with his other prints in the rafters of Founders Brewery.

Muits studied advertising and design at Hussian College in Philadelphia in the late 90’s. In 2006, he re-located to Seattle where he admired his first sewer cover. After a year, Muits couldn’t get the cover out of his mind he says, “I grabbed some crude materials and made a print that night. I had not that excited about something creative since college a- it was tangible, I could feel it, smell it, see the nuances, fonts, etc.... and I fell in love.” He is still a graphic designer by trade and spent the last 10 years as a freelancer with a couple full-time stints - both of which made him realize he needed to be on the road and in the streets.

YAMS:

Yams is a Chicago based artist primarily focused on public murals and paintings on canvas and or wood. His process is intuitive, discovering imagery as he creates and destroys portions of his work. With a 20 year background as a graffiti writer, Yams uses spray paint as his primary medium while incorporating techniques based on traditional forms of oil painting. He has practiced both classical and contemporary art while studying painting and printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated with a BFA in 2005. Over the past 10 years, YAMS has acted as a co-curator and participating artist helping to organize numerous murals and exhibitions throughout the city of Chicago. YAMS plans to continue to focus on his studio practice while continuing to spread his unique imagery on walls both locally and internationally.   

PUBLIC SPACES runs May 3, 2019 – June 23, 2019 and is curated by Assistant Gallery Director Kaitlyn Miller.


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