Top 5 Weekend Picks! (10/11-10/13)

October 10, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Unfortunately, It Was Paradise at City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower

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Work by Regina Mamou.

City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower is located at 806 N. Michigan Ave. Reception Friday, 5:30-7:30pm.

2. Your Everyday Art World Book Release Party at threewalls

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Conversation with author Lane Relyea, moderated by Duncan MacKenzie with Shannon Stratton and Abigail Satinsky.

threewalls is located at 119 N. Peoria Ave. Reception Friday, 6:30-8:30pm.

3. Symbiosis at Century Guild

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Work by Rory Coyne and Lauren Levato Coyne.

Century Guild is located at 2136 W. North Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

4. Little Man Pee Pool Party: The Whiz Paddler’s Lament at Antena

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Work by Meg Duguid, Bruce Conkle, Micki Tschur, Paul Mack, Mariano Chavez, Sarah Beth Woods, Marie Walz, Scott Wolniak, Sabina Ott & Michelle Wasson, Catie Olson, Andy Pizz, Eyeball Mansion, Nick Drnaso, Sarah Leitten, Andy Gabrysiak, Scott Anderson, Taylor Hokanson, Paul Somers, Edra Soto, Ryan Standfest, Bert Stabler, Matthew Novak, Kevin Budnik, Jeffrey Boguslawski, Ryan Travis, Christian Lars, Bra Jim Zimpel, Tom Torluemke, Tim Ripley, Eric Lebofsky, Andy Burkholder, Erik Lundquist, Krystal Difronzo, Marieke McClendon, Lyra Hill, Alyssa Herlocher, Joe Tallarico, Chris Cilla, Andy Gabrysiak, Chris Kerr, Keith Herzik, Kevin Budnik, Jason Robert Bell, Abe Lampert, Ryan Travis Christian, Jo Dery, David Alvarado, Ryan Standfest, EC Brown, Grant Reynolds, Max Morris, Otto Splotch and Anonymous.

Antena is located at 1755 S. Laflin St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

5. Alive! Commodity, Zombie, Avatar, Fetish at Sullivan Galleries

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Curated by Ginger Krebs.

Sullivan Galleries is located at 33 S. State St. Reception Friday, 5-7pm.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (11/30-12/2)

November 29, 2012 · Print This Article

1. MORE IS MORE at HAUSER Gallery

Work by Meryl Bennett and Matt Taber, Britton Black, Anita Brathwaite, Guerrilla Smiles, Jane Georges, John Kurtz, Julia Haw, Marc Hauser, Deborah Lader, Jean Loup Sieff, Grace Molek, Harvey Moon, On The Real Film, Rabbits, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Bill Sosin, and Xiao Tse.

HAUSER Gallery is located at 230 W. Superior St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

2. Twelve Galleries Project presents Quarterly Site #12: EPIC SOMETHING at Hyde Park Art Center

Curated by Zach Dodson, Dan Gleason, and Caroline Picard, with work Jesse Ball, Irina Botea, EC Brown, Lilli Carré, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Edie Fake, Heather Mekkelson, B. Ingrid Olson, Frank Pollard, Aay Preston-Myint, Deb Sokolow, Bill Talsma, and Viktor Van Bramer.

Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Reception Sunday, 2-5pm.

3. Blank Origin at The Franklin

Work by Justin Bendell, Terence Hannum, Thad Kellstadt, David More, and Bert Stabler.

The Franklin is located at 3522 W. Franklin Blvd. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

4. Durationals no.1 is located at Anatomy/Gift/Association

Work by Kiam Junio, Chelsey Sprengeler, Natalia Nicholson, Joshua Roginsky and Collin Pressler.

Anatomy/Gift/Association is located at 1619 W. 16th St. Reception Saturday, 7-9pm.

5. Where I’d Leave the Thing Itself at Roots and Culture

Work by Lilli Carre and Alexander Stewart.

Roots and Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.




Top 5 Weekend Picks (4/13-4/15)

April 13, 2012 · Print This Article

1. It’s Getting Hot in Here at Chicago Artists’ Coalition

Work by Sarah and Joseph Belknap.

Chicago Artists’ Coalition is located at 217 N. Carpenter St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

2. With Other People, With Other Sons at Heaven Gallery

Work by Ryan Chorbagian, Hao Ni, and Patrick McGuan.

Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. 2nd Fl. Reception Friday, 7-11pm.

3. Temporal Figuration at LVL3

Work by Andrew Holmquist, David Brandon Geeting, and Jade Walker.

LVL3 is located at 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Fl. Reception Saturday, 6-10pm.

4. limes and bricks suck pink you tasteless hunk or just limes and brick suck pink or tasteless hunk at Terrain Exhibitions

Work by Claire Ashley

Terrain Exhibitions is located at 704 Highland Ave. Oak Park. Reception Sunday 12-4pm.

5. Objet Petit Ahh…, and Benefit for Version Festival 12 at Co-Prosperity Sphere*

Curated by Dayton Castleman and Matthew Dupont, with work by John Airo, Kristen Althoff, Anna & Meredith, Nick Black, Lisa Brosig, Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildewine, Jessica Calek and Dan Streeting, Abby Christensen, Melissa Damasauskas, Kaleb Dean, Aaron Delehanty, Jim Duignan, Ben Fain, Karl Gesch, Aron Gent, Ricki Hill, Gabe Hoare, David Hooker, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Anais Maljan, John Medina, Thomas Moreno, Heather Mullins, Jake Myers, Catie Olson, Haynes Riley, Blake Russell, Chris Santiago, Rana Siegel, Charles Smith, Bert Stabler, Basia Toczydlowska, Emily Van Hoff, Johanna Wawro, and Jen Zito.

Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Reception Saturday 6-11pm.

*The author has work in this exhibition




How to Draw Your Own Door : An Interview with Edie Fake

July 20, 2011 · Print This Article

Edie Fake’s first graphic novel, Gaylord Phoenix (Secret Acres) was eight years in the making. An erotic and sometimes violent psychedelic spirit quest,  the book compiles the adventures of its central birdman who travels far and wide in search of self-knowledge and passion. It’s a two-colored interior, with a rich vocabulary of symbols and innuendo, from magical dwarfs to crystal splinters and tubular genitalia. The drawings are lush and decadent yet they resonate with a kind of personal touch too. When I put the book down I felt like I had been left with a piece of cartoon chalk—what will no doubt come in handy at such times in the future when I find something blocking my path (you know, because cartoon chalk draws doors through walls). This book is liberating and joyous and why not—for shouldn’t life be the same? Pain and vulnerability can lead to insight.
Despite the epic proportions of  this one body of work (and here is a great interview about GP specifically) Fake has worked on other projects as well, participating in performances, working as a tattoo artist and developing an alternative history of Chicago. I wanted to ask Fake more about his work and how it flows together in an effort, I suppose, to explore his underlying and hybrid ideology. In some ways I surprised myself—I asked a lot of questions about tattoos. I’m curious about what tattoos mean in our culture, (perhaps especially because I’m spending the month in Providence and tattoos are really and truly all over the place). How are tattoos different from drawings? And where do those paths cross. Edie Fake seemed like a good person to talk to.
Caroline Picard: What happens to you when a drawing of yours is tattooed on someone’s arm? In other words, does the significance of the drawing change? How would you compare a tattoo with a drawing’s relationship to the world when contextualized by a book/on a page?

Edie Fake: I think a couple of things happen in a couple of different ways. First off, drawing a tattoo for someone is sort of like finding the perfect gift for someone you barely know. Part of a perfect gift is that it is entirely wanted and sort of surprising and I think it also has to have a little personal flair, some indication of who the giver is and why they would choose to give such a thing.  So just the drawing/planning itself is already a lot more collaborative than just thinking about what you’d draw on your own. Then, you start tattooing someone and it’s a whole other thing. It’s a blood ritual and it’s craftsmanship and it’s fun and painful and casual too. I was only tattooing for a couple of years, but when I was working on someone there was this whole new process of understanding each line drawn, and also an understanding of why this tattoo was going to fit the person getting it. I think I was looking at the stuff I was tattooing like it was different sorts of heraldry. The person wearing the tattoo is a huge part of what the drawing becomes, both physically and energetically. That’s the biggest difference throughout the process. With drawings on paper I usually am pushing out a drawing with my own vision,  and then it can have a really singular presentation. Tattoos temper your own version of how things should be with someone else’s ideas and I really love it because it can really push the way you draw into some strange places trying to figure out the common ground where “what someone wants” meets “what you want to give to them.” I’m not tattooing now, but I miss it a lot and I miss the way it pushed my drawings. I’m starting to casually put my feelers out for another apprenticeship here in Chicago.

CP: I’m interested in how you use drawings to empower and embolden ideas you have about fluidity and gender identity–Can you talk a little bit about how the medium enables your philosophy/ies? 

EF: I’m not sure if my thoughts are organized enough to bring up anything worthy of being a philosophy! I do identify as a transsexual and I do think a lot about the expansiveness of language, the importance of self-definition and how that all relates to complicating gender and sexuality. Collapsing and expanding meaning of words and images can work towards a wild and playful vision of sex positivity as well; that’s what I strive for in drawings.

Multiple meanings are critical – I really think that’s what keeps visual, verbal and physical language alive, the way that new interpretations will always be added to the heap. I make a lot of work based on innuendo and word play. Coded meanings and visual decadence can provide a place where drawings can snap into something that complicates gender and implies new systems. For me, it’s impossible to articulate queerness in a direct and definitive way because it doesn’t exist like that – it’s much better pieced together through a drawing with many things happening, the interplay of different codes, sly language tricks, a collision of symbols, because all these things together gets more toward the idea of a border-less, boundless queer gestalt.

CP:  Do you believe in a Utopia? (not necessarily something to implement, but something to work towards?) 

EF: I don’t believe in some true, universal, obtainable utopia, or any kind of unified vision for a utopia, at all. However, I have experienced periods in my life I would definitely call “utopic” where I’ve felt amazing energetic kinship to those around me, or even just to myself… I should add, these were not periods that were free of problems or hardships,  but they were times of feeling deeply connected to what I was doing and how I was living. Constantly scheming and trying to help others with their schemes.

I think the world is shitty and hard,  really lovely things always fall apart, pain, violence, heartache and futility reign supreme. Flying in the face of that, a utopia notion in my head can push me forward, and encourage me to try to create good energy and critical work. Utopia as a constant push to conjure up how things could be better, and then the working your ideas into realities.

CP: In some way I was thinking about the utopia question because of the on-line project A Gay Utopia. I was wondering if you could talk a little about that–how did the project get started? What was it like developing work for an on-line and shared context?

EF: Before the Gay Utopia Online Symposium, I felt like the term was floating in the air a lot, especially the air over Chicago. In my experience, it was being used as sort of a rallying cry, to envision working for each other, creating networks, sharing resources, and helping each other build the things we wanted to see in the world. When I went on tour with Lee Relvas in  2006  she delivered this brilliant soapbox speech as part of our performance that culminated with asking the audience “Are you ready for a Gay Utopia?” Well, the answer to that was yes.

I’m unsure of how the Online Symposium started, but that project was the brainchild of Noah Berlatsky and Bert Stabler. It’s a wild grouping of folks that they brought together, and I’m really proud of the work I did for the  project. There’s a wide range of how people approached the work there, and I think I approached it as someone who feels like  “Gay Utopia” is a concept that nourishes me and is integral to how I see the cycles of my life tumble out. The Gay Utopia shares a lot with the Temporary Autonomous Zone and I am really invested in both of those, so I wanted to create  a comic that reflected falling down that rabbit hole. When I settled on a long scroll down drawing, I also decided that the most important thing for me to show in the images was the close combination of destruction and ecstasy, love and fury going hand-in-hand, fueling each other. That’s a big part of my lived experience.

CP: I was thinking about tattooing again, and your description of its gift-quality. It made me think too about how you describe community and connectedness as being somehow central to those moments of utopic experience. In many cultures, it feels like tattoos have ritualistic significance–it’s a sign given at the coming of age, for instance, or after some epic experience. I was wondering if you feel like tattoos have a ritualistic resonance in your experience and what that might be? 

EF: It’s a funny thing- it IS totally a ritual, and there’s this formal setup to it, but when you’re in it, it can seem casual. I guess I should call it “important casual” though – it’s a nice shared energy with tattooee and tattooist totally concentrating on what’s going on. As I was learning, I did tattoos on a lot of friends and I think that certainly had the pleasant effect of getting closer to people in a new way, through this little ritual, that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It’s very much an act of trust too, which plays into making it powerful.
CP: What do you hope your work, say like Gaylord Phoenix, accomplishes in the public sphere? I’m asking partly because you talk about your drawings as though they reflect a personal process–like, it’s the space where you can really center yourself around an interior landscape. That said, I feel like the book is incredibly welcoming and playful and generous–so it feels like a world where I am invited to participate.  I’m interesting in how that dynamic might play into the way you think about your work. 
EF: Ideally, I make drawings that are about possibilities and potentials. Considering it now, I suppose I’m making objects that try to occupy or push towards a world I’d like to live in. I’m always borrowing energy from powerful scraps of language that roll my way, trying to recognize patterns and kinships and teaming it all up visually. With that in mind, it’s amazing to hear that the drawings can turn around and give out their own little powers. It’s so great when it when it feels like there’s sharing and exchange happening because I definitely hope for something large, lovely and real.

CP: I was also reading that you do some performance work as well–can you talk a little bit about that? And maybe what it is like to physically embody something, (vs. describing it 2-dimensionally).

EF: I do occasionally do performance work. To me it seems much more like conducting a public experiment, whereas displaying a finished drawing is like showing off the answer to a long series of problems. Performances are so dependent on your openness and the openness of the audience and they hinge on both the clarity of your purpose and also your ability to convey that purpose in a non-didactic way. It’s usually a medium I use when I have a cluster of ideas floating around my head. To perform effectively – it is so hard! For me, performing is maybe the hardest, so I try to listen to my heart about it and know when I’ve got something cooking, and if I’m not really feeling it knowing to throw in the towel and forget it, I’ll just do some drawings, which I always have ideas and methods for.

Go here for more glimpses of Edie’s work.




Top 5 Weekend Picks (7/1-7/3)

June 30, 2011 · Print This Article

1. Solastalgia at Johalla Projects

Work by Jenny Kendler.

Johalla Projects is located at 1561 N Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Friday from 7-10pm.

2. Doubt Implies Guilt at DIG

Work by Bert Stabler, Nick Black, and Jasime Young.

DIG is located at 2003 N. Point #3. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.

3. Either/Or/Both at Threewalls

Work by Hans Peter Sundquist, Samantha Bittman, Michael Milano, Casey Droege, and Stephanie Brooks.

Threewalls is located at 119 N. Peoria St., #2C. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.

4. Transmit/Transmute at Comfort Station

Work by Adrian Moens.

Comfort Station is located at 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.

5. Thieves In The Light at Julius Caesar

Work by Jesus Gonzalez Flores.

Julius Caesar is locate at 3144 W Carroll Ave, 2G. Reception is Sunday from 4-7pm.