EDITION #14

July 29, 2013 · Print This Article

Hope Esser performing “Telegraph Progress” at The Watermill Center’s 20th Annual Summer Benefit.

Celebrites fawn over Chicago artist at Watermill

Reportings coming in this evening from sources from Facebook to Bloomberg indicate that Chicago performance artist and occasional What’s the T? correspondent, Hope Esser, painted The Watermill red at the art center’s celebrity studded annual summer benefit. Esser could be viewed from on high, performing in a red dress with flag sleeves from atop the performance lab’s building. Her figure was made more striking by the red fabric draped rapunzel-like directly under her.

Bloomberg.com revealed celebrities from Abromavic to Gaga to bankers no one care about were seen at the event. The article smartly shouts out Esser as well. Watch out for Esser’s performance in the next Lady Gaga video, featuring Marina Abromavic.

Real collaboration at The Hills.

Drain & Reeder Create “On The Spot” Art Exhibition

This past Monday (yes, an opening on a Monday) evening at The Hills Esthetic Center “Jyson Deeder and Tim Rain” debuted “A Nerdier Red”, “community organized” by Josh Reames, at everyone’s “favorite” Garfield Park “gallery”, The Hills. The collaborative exhibition came together as it opened with Reeder & Drain turning the notoriously useless loft above the gallery into the command center from which the art was generated and then incorporated into the official gallery space.

Reeder & Drain tell it like it is.

Down in the gallery, visitors feed off the artists’ frenzied energy and joined in, painting a huge canvas, random hats and eventually joining in on a “drum circle.”

Visitor’s in various states of gallery attendance.

We highly recommend checking out the fallout from last Monday. Email The Hills Esthetic Center to make an appointment.

The Weatherman Report

Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field, 1977. Long-term installation in
Western New Mexico. Photo: The New York Times.

Reading is Fundamental

  • Some Unrequired Reading: As Jerry Saltz opens his piece on Deitch’s depature from LA MoCA, “It was always only a question of when, never if.” That being said, the internet is ablaze with opinions on the development. If you’re into that sort of thing, more here, here, and here.
  • Gay Marriage is Trending and TotallyFab-u-lous: The Gossip is that The Gossip’s Beth Ditto recently married her partner, Kristin Ogata, in Maui. Ditto and Ogata has my dream wedding: Ditto wore a Gaultier gown and it looks like they made all their guests coordinate. To. Die. For.

    Don’t worry beaus, Buxom babes aren’t the only one getting hitched. Recently, our personal fav queen Latrice Royal made news by becoming ordained in order to officiate over a good friend’s wedding ceremony. Catch this great interview on Latrice’s killer outfit and her controversial opinions on gay marriage on Dragofficial.com.

  • Thought hyperallergic.com was just #selfie fluff? No longer. Recently some seriously drama erupted on the site where I most frequently read “news stories” about emojis and cats. Soon after Peter Schjeldahl posted his Jonathan Swift-esque piece for the New Yorker about cannabalizing the Detroit Institute of the Arts a hyperallergic writer, Hrag Vartanian, shook Schjeldahl to his knees. Ending the article with the terse but powerful, “Peter Schjeldahl should be fired” the T? is sure that Vartanian was no small part of what eventually led the tenured art critic to rescind his opinion on the matter.
  • Notes on the Art of Conversation: We’re really excited about what Claudine Isé has to say about all things art conversational during her Much Much More lecture hosted by the Humboldt Park branch of the Chicago Public Library and Philip von Zweck. Even more educational than reading, this event is not to be missed.

Printer’s congregate to prove printing not dead

This past Saturday the Printer’s Ball, hosted by Spudnik Press with the support of the Poetry Foundation, took over the Hubbard Street lofts, once again proving print media’s vitality with displays, demonstrations, lectures, conversations and empanadas. WTT? was especially impressed with the Riso demonstrations provided by SPARE residency in the Post Family space.

Tony Fitzpatrick in conversation with Printer’s Ball founder, Fred Sasaki. Fitzpatrick regaled the audience with tales of Studs Terkel, Lou Reed, Haiti and Cuban cigars.

Spotted at the Printer’s Ball: Momentarily back from Ox-Bow, Lauren Anderson checks out photos and posters at Johalla Projects.

EDITION #13

July 15, 2013 · Print This Article

#JusticeForTrayvon

“Homage to Trayvon Martin”

by Derrick Adams, Vacant but Occupied 2010, tempera paint, faux brick paneling, glitter, spray paint and hoodie, 24 inches x 28 inches.

Keith Haring Trends Super Hard at Pride

We know PRIDE was a full fortnight ago, but these photos submitted by Hope Esser are just too uplifting not to post.

Girl! Where did you get those leggings!?

UHM, that is a LOT of PRIDE.

Seeing double.
Big thanks & shout out to Hope for the tip!

SPOTTED!

Celeste Rapone, Bonfire 2013, oil on canvas, 63×76″

Mere months after seeing her work at the 2013 SAIC MFA Graduate Exhibition, we spotted Celeste Rapone’s stunning painting, Bonfire, at Jean Albano’s Gallery in River North last friday.

There may be a reason Albano is augmenting her roster with young blood, WTT? has heard that long time artist and living local legend, Karl Wirsum, is leaving Albano for Courbett vs Dempsey.

The Weatherman Report

Marc Chagall, A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon. Study for backdrop for Scene III of the ballet Aleko, 1942 Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper (38 7/10 x 57 1/5 in.) &copy: Archives Marc et Ida Chagall.
jay-z and marina abramovic

“You’re Crazy for This One Jay”

Just when we thought the world was safe from appropriating celebrities (#LoveYouMiley) Jay-Z swags in and tries his hand at the most bodily of professions, Performance Art. This, as you may well know, is NOT his first attempt at a durational performance. HOVA and Yeezus reportedly played Ni**s in Paris a record breaking number of times.* We all did for that matter and in case you were wondering, there are five more works of art from Jay to come. So we can all relax, there’s plenty of newsfeed fodder forthcoming. Word on the street is that there may be images of a Jesus chain in a jar of urine surfacing soon.

Among the more interesting pieces lobbed at the edgiest video shoot of all time are, “I just love the way Jay-Z riffs on what Marina did,” said Roselee Goldberg, the performance art historian and founder of Performa, and this delightful piece of writing.

*Ed. note: Miami artists, Naomi Fisher and Lucas Leyva also performed Ni**s in Paris for 2.5 hours straight in the context of Domingo Castillo’s Duets at Dimensions Variable in 2012.

Seriously though,

Holler at the T? if you have any tips!

Opening Flyer for Logan Hardware.

Inside of the store.

SMALLTIME ARCHIPHILE:

Home Away from Home

I can’t say enough about how much I love Logan Hardware, where you can’t get keys made but you can pick up the 7” that’s out of print. It’s my favorite Chicago record store, not to mention having a free arcade museum. BUT enough about me, this is about them and the new location they’ve moved to. It’s a Chicago Action Figure that gets repeated all over – one-part individual, lots of parts repetition.

The Evens poster

Originally, they were housed in an old Hardware store that was emotive architecturally as it was modern. Peep this flyer that puts the old store front-and-center as where Ian MacKaye’s The Evens were playing on July 1st. The preoccupation with their architectural persona has now officially travelled with them to their new home down Fullerton.

Their opening party flyer was a very simple line drawing of an extremely iconic, yet incredibly ubiquitous Chicago architectural figure – the corner cantilevered Oriel Bay Window or Chicago Window. This floating tube shape affords some awesome reading nooks and views to the two or three residents of the upper floors and an amazing face from the street – junk in the front. Corners like this always remind me that I’m in Chicago and not anywhere else. Another way to understand this is through its gaudy historical type, where mad money was spent to make your building stand out against brick 3-flats.

I guess I have a love affair with a classy window and a sultry shape, but who doesn’t?

I’ve passed this building an endless amount of times and always wondered about what was happening on the ground floor. I’ve never had my prayers answered where one of my favorite places decides to move in. Thank you Chicago Architectural Ether.

Logan Hardware is located at 2352 W. Fullerton.

EDITION #12

July 1, 2013 · Print This Article

The scene on Milwaukee Avenue this weekend.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Roundup

As if Logan Square wasn’t already the best neighborhood in Chicago (sorry haterz), this weekend’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival was the perfect combination of art, craft and deliciousness. The festival had everything: boneless rib sandwiches, hot dogs, cheese burgers, italian sausages, cheese fries, funnel cakes, Wisconsin cheddar curds, corn dogs, chicken strips, cheese sticks, cheese curds, nachos and potato skins. Here are a few of the highlights:

All of the things!

Lisa Lindvay somehow managed to make Doritos gorgeous at one of the SLAC storefront exhibitions

We loved Natalie Krick’s clever use of the dressing rooms in the abandoned clothing store where one of the SLAC exhibitions took place.

WTT? is a longtime GDBD fan, so we were of course delighted to see member Jamie Steele’s work, Lady (2013) at MAAF.

The extremely lovely and extraordinarily talented Nadine Nakanishi at her booth for Sonnenzimmer.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Finding Sustenance at CAC’s Starving Artist

Starving Artist. It’s a charged phrase that elicits reaction from our guts – whether artist, admin or educator – so it was no mistake Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) chose it as the banner to hold over their annual artist+chef mash-up, raising funding and awareness for its mission to build a sustainable marketplace for artists and creative’s.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Billed as “the experiential artist and culinary event of the year,” CAC pairs a handful of chefs from foodie institutions across the city with esteemed visual artists to inspire one another in creating edible “installations” to be enjoyed by the crowd and new works of art to be auctioned off the night of the event. 2013 saw collaborations between Jordan Martins and Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice), Sabina Ott and Bill Kim (bellyQ), Theaster Gates and Erick Williams (MK), Cody Hudson and Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle), and Marissa Lee Benedict with Benjamin Newby (Hennessy Black.) Additionally, Claire Ashley and Andrea Morris transformed CAC’s main gallery into an ethereal, celestial-like space, perfect for the obligatory after-hours dance party.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Now in it’s third consecutive year, Starving Artist has proven to be a perfect concoction of collaboration. By partnering with taste makers (pun intended) throughout the food industry, which has its very own devout following for the artistry of the chefs they love, CAC has found a way to cross-pollinate audiences, capitalizing on shared aesthetics while aiming to develop new audiences for the arts. So far it’s a sweet – and savory – success.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

The Weatherman Report

Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, 1884-6 Oil on canvas (81 3/4 x 121 1/4 in.) The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection.

Totally #Trending

Getting your nails did: If you haven’t signed up for an mani appointment at Dzine’s Imperial Nail Salon (my parents’ living room) at the MCA we don’t even know you.

The always fashionable Etta Sandry‘s nail sensation.

Chelsea Culp’s manicure even has chains! I die.

Cardboard: From cats to art fairs, card board is totally trending.

Colin Dickson‘s formal yet functional Donald Judd-esque cardboard cat scratcher in the window of “The Whisker.” We can haz cats while waiting in line?!

Aron Gent’s cardboard palace for Document & Threewall‘s joint booth at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.

Orange: No further proof needed than the ongoing and extreme popularity of the negroni slushies from Parson’s Chicken & Fish.

Mobile negroni slushie’s at MAAF this weekend. Photo via Parson’s Facebook.

You Spin Me Right Round

Rotating cermaic pot by Chealsea Culp & Ben Foch on view at Rainbo Club in Wicker Park. Is it weird that an art opening at a bar feels more like an art opening than most art openings?

SPOTTED!

LS Alderman, Rey Colón, checking out a photo by Garrett Baumer at one of the SLAC’s pop-up art exhibitions on Milkwaukee.

Robert Chase Heishman‘s work at the MAAF Document/Threewalls booth VS an Urban Outfitter’s backsplash. I think we all know who the winner of this battle is…

Come one, come all!

EDITION #11

June 17, 2013 · Print This Article

Tony Tasset is watching you.

Painting the town red

Everyone knows that going to a museum or a gallery is usually more trouble than it’s worth. What, with all the disapproving glances, heady talk and questionable wine selections. Wouldn’t it be easier just to look at art while you shop? Or during your morning commute to the Loop?

Citizens of Chicago, have no fear. Murals and public commissions are popping up all over (and around) the city. Just this past week the CTA announced the seven artists commissioned to beautify North Side Red Line stations. Lynn Basa (renowned public artist and my former boss) posted this mock-up for her Byzantine glass mosaic that will adorn the Argyle stop on facebook. Basa, who [literally] wrote the book on public art commissions mentioned to me this weekend that she is elated to be creating a public work in her hometown.

Basa mock-up for the Argyle station.

As if the CTA commissions weren’t enough, some of my very favorite Miami artists from Jim Drain to Bhakti Baxter have been descending on the town of Rosemont to complete murals in a new mall scheduled to open sometime this summer. For reasons beyond my comprehension, the ever-relevant New York Times devoted print space to this “ambitious” project. What’s the T? has heard that the mall will also feature an Alvaro Ilizarbe piece that is “his sistine chapel” and worth the trip to the mall-seum. See you there?

Chicago artist, Josh Reames, working on the Drain mural.

Threewall’s ‘Power of Ten’ was a party for way more.

Screw Basel and Venice, the Threewalls 10th anniversary benefit this weekend was on point! The Power of Ten at Salvage One had everything – food, drinks, crazy antiques and baubles, steampunk-style old-timey tin-types, circus performers, drink, dancing, a silhouette cutting artist, music, drinks, and even some art.

Even though we still don’t know where they’re moving (do they even know where they’re moving to?!), here are ten fabulously done-up attendee’s in honor of the power of ’10′:

Threewalls Programming Director, Abby Satinsky with artist and curator, Anthony Romero. Abby’s dress is just killer and La Croix continues to trend.

Auction guest curators and Chicago fashion icons, Ben Foch and Chealsea Culp of New Capital with Threewalls Director Shannon Stratton.

Formerly featured on Who Wore it Better, the daper Daniel Tucker and Anthony Stepter.

Artist Jason Lazurus flanked by up-and-comers Raven Munsell and Jesse Malmed. LOVING the seersucker suit!

Totally Trending

Face paint was definitely a big winner at the ACRE Block Party last Saturday, June 8th.


The Weatherman Report

Mary Heilmann , San Gregorio, 2012 Oil on canvas (15 x 12 inches) Image provided by hyperallergic.

SMALLTIME ARCHIPHILE:

Roberto Clemente Post Office

Consistently referred to as the worse post office in the world, the Roberto Clemente Branch of the USPS in Logan Square is a wonderfully ‘brick’ building, not in material but in shape. Thats not to say it’s shaped like a brick, but the bricks become different shapes. I say this because brick is on display, not for what it wants to be – sorry Lou Kahn – but for what it tries to simulate. It’s like when Neo sees Agent Smith shrouded in binary code – parts to whole, whole to parts, but without the make-up.

Post office exterior.

Usually used as a traditional building material, mostly flat and controlled through joining patterns, bricks do not become cylindrical columns, filleted edges, curves, almost tapestry like frames for tall beautiful window displays of people waiting two hours for a package, like at the RCPO. Opened in 1937, this building threw me for a loop because I dated it later, but the deco interior and amazing mural insice should have been more of an indication.

The mural in all it’s glory.

The changes in the bricks attitude is mad postmodern, but it was done at the mid-stage of American modernism, lending itself to the deco ideas of streamline. That would explain the curvaceous bod on this beauty, but not her brick dress. Beauty might be only skin deep, but when you use rounded bricks to complete a homogenous cladding of a building that could have been expressed in steel or another more plastic material, you’re trying to say something about normal buildings out there, namely ‘who cares what the brick wants to be.’

Located at 2339 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

SLAC studios take hold on Milwaukee Ave

If you live in Logan Square you’ve probably been wondering what happened to that garrish pink bakery on Milwaukee Avenue near the Spaulding Blue Line stop. Unwilling to let it lay dormant, Gwendolyn Zabicki, founder and director of the South Logan Arts Coalition is putting this and other vacant storefronts on Milwaukee Avenue to use. SLAC’s studios will be open to the public with exhibitions featuring a total of 40 artists during the 2013 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, June 28-30th.

What’s the T? caught up with Zabicki and some of the SLAC artists for sneak peek of what SLAC has in store for MAAF:

Matthew Woodward with his work in the bakery turned studio.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival will also feature local favorites and newcomers such as the Trailer Park Proyects, Threewalls, The Comfort Station, Document, Reform Objects. We also heard the food is going to be the bomb.com.

SLAC continued…

Milwaukee Ave Arts Fest flyer at Reform Objects.

Natalie Krick in her SLAC studio.

Zabicki in the studio being occupied by Krick.

Location to Stationers

Summer Dreamin’

Location to Station: Help my ACRE homies fulfill their vision quest to super rad places like Cahokia. The artists are all super talented, and the “perks” for donating are real sweet.

ACRE Kitchen: ACRE does a lot of intangible things for the over 90 artists who visit the residency in Wisconsin each summer, but one of the most substantial and delicious parts of the program is feeding everyone twice a day. Anyone who’s been to ACRE knows the food is awesome, fresh, sustainable, all that jazz and the staff is tireless. Help ACRE help you! Plus it’s tax deductible. Hurry! There’s only a few days left!

EDITION #10

May 28, 2013 · Print This Article

Reading is Fundamental

BREAKING: In a surprising turn of events, books exist in the physical realm. In the interest of your papered pleasure, here is a rundown of some noteworthy and [pretty] new Chicago imprints.

  • RE: things in the lap, by Edmund Chia. This sincere and experimental volume by Peregrine Program proprietor Edmund Chia covers his experience of the last three years of exhibitions through prose, poetry and images from Peregrine artists. Chia’s poetic interpretations are like remembering through someone else’s brain. Sweet cover art by David Salkin. Available here.
  • Psychosexual catalog, ANDREW RAFACZ GALLERY, curated by Scott J. Hunter. Rafacz told the T that this catalog is the first in a series, with forthcoming edition for Wendy White’s solo exhibition in September. The catalogs are part of larger initiative to expand and deepen the galleries programming with longer running exhibitions and events like the catalog release and conversation on May 25th.

    A “real extension of the show” Rafacz said the book is meant to be a “sexy object,” sporting a lux cover, BUTT magazine-esque pink pages and elaborate typography. Designed by Ryan Swanson, Jason Foumberg‘s diagrammatic essay might be Psychosexual’s sexiest piece. Also includes an essay by Hunter and a great read about a Caravaggio work by Elijah Burger. More information on the Psychosexual catalog here.

  • A sneak peak of Foumberg’s essay.
  • Space, Interiors and Exteriors, 1972, Sun Ra + Ayé Aton. A new book with never-before-seen photos by Sun Ra, released by Corbett vs. Dempsey? owning this book will score you about a million cool points. Featuring photographs by Mr. Ra, murals by Aton, an introduction by Glenn Ligon and an essay by John Corbett. It’s pretty much an investment. Availble here.
  • Photo by Clay Hickson.
  • Sunday Thoughts, by Clay Hickson. I love seeing Hickson’s “Sunday Thoughts” on my tumblr stream, so I couldn’t be more excited to have the entire collection in the flesh. Sunday Thoughts was recently featured alongside other local, national and maybe even international artists at Johalla Project‘s Artist Book Collection, curated by Nina Hartmann.

Hartmann with the Artist Book Collection at Johalla Projects.

The Weatherman Report

Roger de La Fresnaye , Landscape with a Village, The Hills Beyond Meulan, 1911 Oil on canvas (72.4 × 59.4 cm) Image provided by Indianapolis Museum of Art

#linkedin

  • New Capital featured on Art Slant. Finally! Someone is paying attention to awesome work in Chicago.
  • An image of Seth Sher and Meg Noe at New Capital from the article by author and photographer, Paul Germanos.
  • Like “Cribs” for artists on the internet. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (and my former classmate), Kate Korroch‘s apartment featured on popular blog, Apartment Therapy.
  • Korroch and her husband, Chad Jewsbury, at their Ravenswood apartment.
  • Oh come on, I know you get your art news from Facebook, too. Click images for stories.
  • Anthony said it best.
  • Gallerista‘s Joshua Herrington asks, ‘girl, what is the T?’
  • Theaster Gates trending even more than normal. Recently my gmail inbox just cannot get enough of Theaster Gates. It keeps going on and on about how Gates has been named the keynote speaker of the One State Together in the Arts conference, and how he inaugrated his new exhibition 13th Ballad at the MCA, or about this well timed interview between him and Elysabeth Alfano. Will my inbox never rest?

Who Wore it Better?

Time Magazine cover and Kate Ruggeri sculpture from 2010. (Stole this from Kate‘s tumblr).


Inspirational art work for the band Black/Black, who performed this weekend at SWAN SONG for LODOS. Art work by Steven Vainberg