Don Colley’s Insane Clown Posse

July 6, 2009 · Print This Article

If Don Colley’s drawings were movies, I’d be first in line to see them. The Chicago-based artist’s noirish, grab-you-by-the-throat depictions of evil clowns, brawling boxcar hobos, and flamboyant carnie types are intensely cinematic, evoking angsty narrative scenarios that are part Nicholas Ray, part Coen Brothers, and part Mad Men, with a dash of Bruce Nauman thrown in for good measure. They’re sinister and alluring, able to suggest entire storylines within a single drawing (many of which are seen in close-up, tightly wrapped in beautifully carved wooden frames that are themselves reminiscent of artisinal tramp art).

Colley’s drawings and paintings can currently be seen in Midwestern Blab! (on view through July 22nd at Columbia College’s A+D Gallery), an exibition of five Midwest-based contributors to Monte Beauchamp’s Blab! magazine. There are some terrific large-scale works by Colley there that can only be seen in the exhibition (photography was not permitted in the gallery) so if you’re in the Chicago area, try to check it out before the show closes in a couple of weeks.

Colley has also had shows at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, George Adams Gallery in New York and Philip Slein Gallery in St. Louis.

Don Colley

Judicious, 2004

Don Colley

Glimmer, 2004

Calling of the Falls

Calling of the Falls

Hindsight

Hindsight

Fuel, 2006

Fuel, 2006

The Sunny Disposition

The Sunny Disposition

Nocturne

Nocturne

DC 21, Appeal

Gemelos

Gemelos

Sweat Lodge

Sweat Lodge

My Burdened Heart

My Burdened Heart

Picture 6

3 Responses to “Don Colley’s Insane Clown Posse”

  1. Hi. If you’re interested, here is a short video about the Midwestern BLAB! show for your enjoyment.
    Elizabeth
    http://artseenchicago.blogspot.com/2009/07/midwestern-blab-video-here-now.html

  2. Claudine Ise Says:

    Thanks Elizabeth! This is great!

  3. Claudine,
    I’ve been meaning to thank you for not only the very kind and supportive words regading my work in the Blab! show, but for also culling images to show your readers. At a time when publications such as The Chicago Reader have trimmed their coverage of the visual arts, Blogs like yours have properly stepped up to keep the light on our craft. God knows a slew of dealers whose job it is to promote our work are standing around wringing their hands sweatin’ the Great Downturn. But by focusing solely on bottom line stategies they often lose sight of the energy generated when one enthusiastically celbrates the real mission. We still hammer away at our calling whether a check comes floating thru the window or not. Thanks for the uplift.
    Don Colley

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