For the first time in Chicago, artist Jenny Holzer presents a series of temporary outdoor projection works in conjunction with the exhibition Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT. Texts selected by Holzer, who is renowned for her compelling use of language in public space, will be projected on the facade of the MCA Thursday and Friday, October 30th & 31st. Projections will begin after dark and will conclude before midnight. There will also be three projections on public buildings around Chicago: Saturday, Nov 1: Lyric Opera and Riverside Plaza Sunday, Nov 2: Tribune Tower Monday, Nov 3: Merchandise Mart
Cartoonist David Rees will be reading from his new book collecting all of his Get Your War On comics which dissect the screwed-up path our country has gone down including our current endless war. Spanning the years 2001 to 2008 Get Your War On is created with a palette of old corporate clip art paired with angry, yet funny, dialogue.
He started out about eight years ago with the comic strips My Fighting Technique is Unstoppable and its follow-up, My Filing Technique is Unstoppable. The characters in My Filing Technique is Unstoppable then moved on to become Get Your War On where David began tackling the absurdity of the current war in Iraq as well as the other crap this current adminstration has brought upon us. I was really happy to see his cartoon get picked up by Rolling Stone magazine several years ago because that meant that his point of view was going to be shared with a much larger audience.
David will be reading from his work tonight, Tuesday, October 28th at the Second City's E.T.C Theater in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood at 1608 N Wells. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m.
Author John Hodgman, who plays the "PC" character in the recent series of Apple computer commercials, will be reading from his new book as well. More Information Than You Require is a sequel to his previous book, The Areas of My Expertise.
I have to admit that every time I'd go to the Art Institute of Chicago I'd do my best to avoid the area with the older, religious art. I'd go through looking at everything, marveling at the size of the huge paintings and checking out the weird acts of violence interspersed with naked people. But after a while they'd all just blur into a blob of unhappy pale faces and gold gilt. Eventually I'd come to admire the massive amount of time and skill put into the work but I'd still dash over to the contemporary side of the museum as soon as I could. It just wouldn't retain my interest. But all that has changed now that I've read Matti Allison's Squishy Jesus.
Squishy Jesus is the art history teacher I wish I'd had when I was in college. Through it, Matti introduces us to various paintings of the Madonna and Child throughout the centuries and highlights weird details within each work. It sort of feels like you're on the red carpet at an awards ceremony while Matti points out the silliness walking by. Check it out here.
I've got a solo exhibition opening this Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at the Believe Inn in Chicago. I'll have photographs up documenting nooks and crannies of the city (60% nooks/40% crannies) Come on down to 2043 N Winchester between 6 and 10 pm. The Believe Inn is located one block east of Damen and one block north of Armitage in the Bucktown neighborhood. The show will also be open the following Saturday, November 1st from noon to 6pm. www.believeinn.org
Jenny Holzer's retrospective, featuring work from the mid 90's to now opens this Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Her text as sculpture pieces have become even more interesting over the years as she's adapted the LED signs she uses in her work into different forms. Both the movement of her texts and the multi-colored lighting her artwork gives off affect the spaces they're displayed in. Her work takes on more of an installation art feel as you walk around each piece. I was mesmerized by her Blue Tilt piece on display at the Art Institute of Chicago last year.
Sarah Vowell, one of the cutest quirkiest writers around, will be speaking at the Harold Washington Library Center tomorrow night, Thursday. She just came out with a new book called The Wordy Shipmates, which is a history of American Puritans. Harold Washington Library Center is at 400 S State St between Congress and Van Buren. The talk is free and begins at 6pm. Here's a recent interview she did with The Chicagoist.
The Mark of Cain, a documentary on Russian prison tattoos, will be screened tonight at Stop Smiling magazine's storefront at 7pm. This movie was filmed in different Russian prisons where inmates spoke openly about their lives as well as the meaning and iconography behind their tattoos. Director Alix Lambert will be on hand for a Q&A session afterwards. RSVP to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joey Potts will unveil a new series of paintings tonight from 7-11 pm at 32nd & Urban Gallery in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. Entitled, "Quest for the Cyclops Pyramid", the paintings feature Joey's fantastic characters painted on wood. The stuff that comes out of his head is amazing. The show runs through Nov. 29, 2008.
32nd & Urban Gallery 3201 S. Halsted St Chicago, IL
Over 60 artists will be showing their work throughout the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago from 12 to 8 pm today and tomorrow Sunday. 30 studios and galleries will be open between Western Ave and May St and between 16th and 26th streets.
I've gone the last few years and have really enjoyed checking out work in some unusual spaces. Pilsen has got a lot of interesting old buildings with hidden theaters and loft spaces. Also, not to knock the spaces on the east side of Pilsen but it's nice to see what the artists in the rest of Pilsen are up to. The National Museum of Mexican Art is in the middle of this neighborhood so you can check out their current Day of the Dead show as well.
List of participating artists here. And a map of spaces as well as the two free trolley routes here.
Chicago's RISK and Kingdom Kilpatrick will be demonstrating their painting technique at Blick Art Supply today from 1 to 4pm. Come see how they use Montana spray paint in creating their work. Kingdom will be spinning reggae and more from the KINGDOM RIDDIM SOUND SYSTEM all afternoon.
BLICK ART SUPPLY PARKING LOT 1574 N. KINGSBURY at North Ave in Lincoln Park, Chicago
I really regret not buying this piece by Porous Walker. It was in a show he was in that was curated by Research & Development at Chicago's All Rise Gallery a couple of years ago. I couldn't stop laughing as I imagined the bird's voice talking with that expression on its face.
Tonight's the preview party for Shawnimal'sNinja Town game for the Nintendo DS. It'll be from 5 to 8 pm at Rotofugi and will feature Shawn Smith talking about his game. Visitors will get a chance to play the new game and check out Rotofugi's selection of 2" tall Micro Ninjas for sale.
The Splat Flats are 28 art studio spaces located above L. Miller & Sons Lumber at 1815 & 1825 W. Division St in Chicago's Ukranian Village neighborhood. I'm guessing the spaces used to be part of a rooming house because each studio space is basically a tiny one room apartment and there's a bathroom at the end of the hall on each floor. There are some really great artists in the building like Jeremiah Ketner who will be showing new work tonight.
Kid Robot's pirate store just opened today at 1573 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park's Flat Iron Building. They'll be there through December and will feature a number of events including San Francisco based artist Huck Gee signing his new 8" Dunny figure, Hello, I'm Insane this Friday, October 3rd from 6 to 8pm.
On Friday, October 17th, NY artist Andrew Bell will sign his glow in the dark Kidreaper figure (pictured above) at the store from 6 to 8 pm as well. More upcoming events are listed here.