Monday, August 31, 2009

Coup D'etat

Mike Giant has a great new book out now titled Coup D'etat. Published by Italy's Drago in conjunction with his show at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris, this book features his iconic black and white drawings paired with photographs of people and bikes he's encountered on his travels.

Available in Chicago at Quimby's and online through Last Gasp.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just Not Feeling Like Myself Today

There's another opening tonight at Barbara & Barbara Gallery in Chicago. Featuring photography and drawings by Timothy Pigott, Tony Francesconi, Brian Yates, Ben Speckmann.

Just Not Feeling Like Myself Today
Opening reception, Saturday, August 29, 2009, 6 to 10 pm
Barbara & Barbara Gallery
1021 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL

Friday, August 28, 2009

Letting Go

Belgian artist, photographer, and zine maker, Ephameron has a show titled, Letting Go, opening this Saturday at Bucktown's Believe Inn.

Design collective and gallery, The Post Family, will also be special guest curating the Believe Inn's gift shop during the run of this show.

Ephameron - Letting Go
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
6 to 10 pm
Believe Inn
2043 N Winchester
Chicago, IL

The exhibition runs through September 20th and will be available for viewing by appointment.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bucktown Arts Fest

This fest always has some nice surprises.

Saturday, August 29 & Sunday, August 30, 2009
Bucktown Arts Fest
@Senior Citizens' Memorial Park
2300 N Oakley Ave (south of Fullerton & east of Western Ave)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vyle at the Library

Chicago DJ and rapper Vyle, will perform a free lunchtime show this Friday at the city's main library. Cited as one of Urb magazine's "Next 100", Vyle has put on a lot of great shows both in Chicago and around the country.

Friday, August 28, 2009
12:15 to 1:15pm
Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S State St

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Late summer in NYC

A couple of people I know are both heading out to New York City this coming weekend. I was suggesting a few places for them to check out this week and I thought I'd post some of them here...

I would start off by visiting the New Museum, a contemporary art museum located on Bowery between Soho and the Lower East Side. Even if you don't go inside, the building itself is worth checking out. It was designed by Japanese architecture firm SANAA and basically looks like a lopsided pile of grey boxes. The picture I shot on the left only shows the bottom four (out of seven) floors. It also includes the "HELL YES!" piece by Ugo Rondinone they have mounted on the outside.

One of their current shows is a retrospective of work by Emory Douglas, who was the chief artist and graphic designer for the Black Panthers in the 1970's. The New Museum is free on Thursday evenings from 7 to 9pm.

One of my all-time favorite galleries in New York is Deitch Projects. Now consisting of three locations in Manhattan and Queens, their shows are guaranteed to impress. They've had numerous amazing shows by people like director Michel Gondry, TWIST/Barry McGee, ESPO/Stephen Powers, Clare Rojas, Margaret Kilgallen, Keith Haring, and more. They have two new shows opening up next week but in the meantime there's this awesome mural by the Brazilian artists Os Gemeos up on Houston St.

Presented by Deitch Projects, this huge wall showcases the amount of detail these two brothers put into their work.

A few places I like to check out in the Lower East Side for shoes, t-shirts, and zines include The Reed Space, the two Alife Rivington Club stores on Rivington, and S.S.U.R., which is nearby at 7 Spring St.

In Soho there's Pearl River, the biggest source for Chinese themed items I've ever seen. You can get everything from paper lantern sets and kid sized chopsticks to full sized Chinese lions for your very own Chinese New Year's celebration. I picked up this Monk mask there.

You can see how Prada transformed a vintage building into a slick showroom on Broadway that's really interesting to walk through. Plus it's fun to play, "Guess the price" when you pick up random shoes on the shelves downstairs. Soho is also home to an Apple store (for quick internet and bathroom breaks), Camper shoes, the flagship Kid Robot store (all three on Prince St), the A Bathing Ape store, and the Billionaire Boys Club shop (it smells like ice cream cones!) on West Broadway.

Soho is also home to the aforementioned Deitch Projects as well as the Drawing Center up the street from them on Wooster.

Chinatown is just south of Soho beginning on Canal St. It's fun to walk amongst the huge crowds there during the day. It's also home to the 4-story Pearl Art Supply. I suggest taking the tiny elevator (hidden in the back) to the top floor and then working your way down.

Creative Time's massive collection of art installations is up on Governor's Island. Open weekends this summer through September 20th. You can take a free ferry boat ride to get there. More info here.

Going north from the Lower East Side, I like the bar Max Fish, there's Toy Tokyo for all your Godzilla and urban vinyl toy needs. In the East Village I like to check out Upper Playground, Giant Robot (which has great art shows as well as books and clothing), Autumn skate shop (across from Upper Playground & Giant Robot), and Turntable Lab. There's also an outpost of Two Boots Pizza, which are my favorite slices in New York.

Heading back west a little, there's the Strand Bookstore on 12th and Broadway, which has a massive selection of both used and remaindered (newish books that have been dropped in price) books, Washington Square Park (where you can relive your KIDS movie-related skateboard smackdown memories), and Other Music (which carries a great selection of cd's and vinyl). I also like the burgers and shakes at the Silver Spurs diner.

Going north there's Union Square, which is great for people watching, and the country's busiest Whole Foods (for snacking). Union Square is also where a whole bunch of train lines converge so it's a good meeting or transfer point.

Friday nights are free at the Museum of Modern Art as well as the American Folk Art Museum next door. The folk art museum has a great Henry Darger exhibit up for a couple more weeks. He's the Chicago outsider artist whose art wasn't discovered until after he died.

I'll post a few more places tomorrow...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Festival de Música Electrónica Latina

This year's edition of the Latin Electronic Music Festival has now grown to three locations in Chicago. Featuring beat makers from near and far, there'll be a good variety of music and workshops to check out. Schedule and prices are listed here.

One of the highlights of the festival is Puerto Rico's Balún, with their ethereal music. I like this track, Snol. They'll be part of the showcase at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Festival de Música Electrónica Latina
Latin Electronic Music Festival

August 27, 2009 - Chicago Cultural Center
August 28, 2009 - National Museum of Mexican Art
August 29, 2009 - Sonotheque

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Edible Audio Picnic

The last show in this summer's Edible Audio Picnic series will feature Chicago producers Caural and K-Kruz opening for Dark Party. Eliot Lipp and Leo123 formed Dark Party as a collaborative side project. I saw them perform some amazing music under that name at the Empty Bottle a few years ago. I've been waiting for them to come back ever since.

From Millennium Park's site...
Brooklyn-based beats producer Eliot Lipp and his Chicago-based friend Leo 123 use DJ electronic music influenced by hip-hop, disco, electro, and techno to produce the unique sound of Dark Party. Caural and K-Kruz, two of Chicago’s finest electronic producers, open for Dark Party playing their samplers live as instruments, together creating a collage of instrumental hip hop, electronic, jazz, ambient and glitch-inspired music.

Monday, August 24, 2009
12noon to 1:30pm
Edible Audio Picnic
Dark Party, Caural, and K-Kruz
Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park
Michigan Ave @ Washington

Thursday, August 20, 2009

TRS-80 in Chicago!

TRS-80 is flying out to Chicago to perform a free lunchtime show tomorrow Friday, August 21, 2009. Comprised of members Jay Rajeck and filmmaker Eric Fensler, TRS-80 plays a mix of live drumming and electronic beats alongside some kickass visuals.

Here's a Coca-Cola commercial that used their song, Bees Inside...

The show is free and will go from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Friday, August 21, 2009
TRS-80 at the Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S State St
Chicago, IL

Transparent Reflect

From their site...

Transparent Reflect examines the portrait and the self-portrait and its overlap in art. The show takes the traditional approach of making a portrait (from an observational standpoint) and mixes it with the more reflective side of a self-portrait. The artists in the show use photography, drawing, painting and installation works to portray their ideas though a range of formal and abstract approaches. They explore religion, sexuality, popular culture and the economic times that we are currently struggling through, and take a more autobiographical response to the current state of the nation. Transparent Reflect questions the notion of identity and brings forth reflection that is required and lately ignored in today’s society.

Zach Abubeker
Matt Austin
Kristen Flemington
Adam Golfer
Maureen Peabody
Anna Shtyenshleyger
Nick Wylie

Transparent Reflect
Opening Friday, August 21, 2009 6 to 11 pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan
Chicago, IL

This show is less than 5 minutes away by car from the Call It What You Will latina photography show at 54B Gallery on Halsted and Cermak Rd. that same night.

Transparent Reflect will also be open Saturday August 22nd from 11am-6pm

Tag Team Terror

I love the poster design for this dj set at Lava tonight...

Hot Wax & End Of The World Dance Party present

!!!#$%&***TAG TEAM TERROR***&%$#!!!

with DJ sets by:

Hosted by: NOVEM Studios & Micada (Six Point Chicago)
Photobooth by: GLITTER GUTS

Thursday, August 20, 2009
9pm to 2 am
1270 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL

$5 / $3 w/ RSVP on Facebook - CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Call it what you will

"Call It What You Will", an all-Latina photography show by The Foto Chicas, is opening this Friday at 54B Gallery in Pilsen. Featuring work by Elia l. Alamillo, Erica Contreras, Analu Maria Lopez, Dulce Rodriguez, and Vanessa Saucedo, all students and recent graduates of Columbia College Chicago's photography program.

Opening Friday, August 21, 2009, 7pm to midnight.

Call It What You Will
54B Gallery
2128 S Halsted St (1/2 block north of Cermak Rd)
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Concrete Wave

Opening this Friday at Humboldt Park's Rumble Arts Center is Concrete Wave: A Showcase of Skateboard Art. Featuring work by Estria (SF), Kato, Exhaust, Kuaze, NISI, Revise, DUNE, Dustin Harris, Rome, Rude, Steph, Tyde, Dwel, Gape, C3PO, Melon, Teel, Rino, TSEL, and POEM (NY).

Raj Mahal (Detroit)
Greg K
DJ Beans (Austin TX)
and more.

Donations accepted.

Concrete Wave
opening Friday, August 21, 2009 from 8pm to 1am
Rumble Arts Center
3413 W North Ave
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Polaroid dreams

This ongoing series of Polaroids by Japanese photographer mmatsuba is one of my favorite sets of photographs on Flickr. At times hand-manipulated and other times shot straight on expired film, these images make for mesmerizing viewing.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Go Harry, Go Harry!

I can't get enough of this show. I was flipping through channels and caught an episode of Hip Hop Harry on Discovery Kids. It stars a hip-hop bear who teaches kids positive lessons. He's like a cooler version of Barney with a raspy voice. The ironic thing is that according to IMDB, the same actor who portrayed Barney also portrayed Hip Hop Harry for many of the episodes. The voice is by someone else though.

The shows can get a lil' long but the payoff is the Hip Hop Harry Dance circle that completes each episode. It's like a kid version of the old Soul Train dance lines with Harry doing the final dance.

Ashland Ave Summer Party

Come check out this block party today, Saturday. Dusty Groove has one of the best music selections in Chicago and Novem carries excellently designed t-shirts. They also currently have a series of great prints up by Delicious Design League. I got a preview of them last night and they're really top notch.

There'll also be art up by several people including photographer Matt Tuteur, who documents the remains of crumbling buildings returning to nature. Burkhardt Studios will feature black and white photographs of Chicago from the last 30 years, and Mr. Tastees will bring out his latest t-shirts and dope laser-cut jewelry.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Royce & The O'My's will rock & or seduce you

I was given the opportunity to program some lunchtime concerts at the main library for August. The first one is tomorrow, Friday, August 14th and will feature Chicago's Royce as well as The O'My's.

The other two concerts in the series will be LA's TRS-80 (formerly of Chicago) who will be making a rare Chicago appearance on Friday, August 21st and Vyle on Friday the 28th. Come out and enjoy some great free music in the library's beautiful auditorium.

Royce & The O'My's
Free concert at the
Harold Washington Library Center
Pritzker Auditorium on the Lower Level
Friday, August 14, 2009 from 12:15 to 1:15pm


Joyride is one of the kickoff events for this weekend's Bicycle Film Festival. It's happenning tonight at the MCA's warehouse in the West Town neighborhood.

Featuring work by the following artists...
Agathe Snow • AIKO • Alfredo Bobe • Alessandro Zuek Simonetti • Amy Bolger • Andrew McClintock • Artus De Lavilleon • Ashira Siegal • Blutt • Camilla Candida Donzella • Cecily Upton • Cheryl Dunn • Chiara Clemente • Chris Stain • Christopher Dilts • Chris Berg • Cody Hudson • Ed Glazar Ellis Gallagher • Erik Foss • Falcon Duran • Fast Eddie Williams • Herman Mao • I Love Dust • Jacques Ferrand • James Newman • James Jean • Jesi the Elder • Jessica Findley • Ji Lee • Joe Stakun • John-Taki Theodoracupulos • Jonas Mekas • Josue Pellot • Julia Chiang • Kelsey Brookes • Kenzo Minami Kenny Scharf • Lauren Silberman • Marc Sich • Marco Mucig • Martha Cooper • Matteo Di Nisio • Maya Hayuk • Mike Giant • Nesta Mayo • Nathaniel Freeman • Peter Sutherland • Rich Jacobs • Scott Campbell •Shayne Bovell • Silver Warner • Steve MacDonald • Takuya • Taliah Lempert • Yatika Starr Fields

JOYRIDE art show
6 to 10 pm
Thursday, August 13, 2009
MCA Warehouse
1747 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL

Monday, August 10, 2009

Daedelus in Chicago

California musician, Daedelus, will be performing at two free shows today, Monday, in Chicago. The first is a solo lunchtime show at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The second is a free lineup at the Empty Bottle with Daedelus headlining. They should both be great performances.

The picture above (by Neil365 on Flickr) shows him playing an experimental electronic instrument called a Monome box. I once saw him play the box so hard a button flew off.

Here's the video for Just Briefly, one of my favorite songs by him....

Monday, August 10, 2009
12 noon at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
just east of Washington and Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL

Also at the Empty Bottle tonight, August 10th
1035 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL
Free show along with Quadratic, Ernest Gonzales, Moment Sound (feat. Garo, Lokua & Slava)
9:30 pm

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It Takes a Village to Bury a Child

The son of some friends was senselessly murdered a few weeks ago. He was a young artist who inspired his friends to create art and music. The following info is for a march scheduled this afternoon.

It Takes A Village To Bury A Child:
Artists and Activists Respond to the Killing

In the wake of the death by gunfire of artist Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Jr., Michael Hernandez De Luna, Pete Rodriguez and Miguel Cortez called a meeting to organize a community response to the rash of shootings in the area.

Sunday, Aug. 9, at 3:00 p.m. (PLEASE COME EARLY)
starting at Juarez High School, on 22d & Ashland.

PEACE MARCH against violence in PILSEN

DRESS IN WHITE and BRING WATER; It's gonna be a hot one.

22nd & Ashland North to 18th Street.
18th -East to Carpenter
Carpenter - South to Cullerton
Cullerton - West to the middle of the block DVORAK PARK. END in park.

We will be stopping at Blue Island and 18th Str for a moment of silence in memory of
Jeff Abbey Maldonado, Jr.

Following the march, "Casa Sandia" on the corner of 16th and Loomis. @ the home Sandy and Eric They have invited the group for a celebration in the yard, please bring something to share...

Join us with a Positive mind for Change...

Get on the High Line

New York's High Line, an old, abandoned elevated track for freight trains, opened to the public a couple months ago as a park and trail. I'd been rooting for it to happen because it has inspired similar ideas like the Bloomingdale Trail that is being planned in Chicago.

Each time I've gone to New York over the years I've enjoyed finding street art hidden underneath the High Line's tracks. The first metal REVS piece I ever saw was at the southern end of the High Line in the Meatpacking District. It was designed to blend in with a truck loading dock underneath. There was also a lot of classic New York graffiti painted alongside the tracks like the stuff pictured in this photograph by Jonathan Flaum.
At the top is a photograph by Joel Sternfeld as the High Line appeared before renovation. Below is what it looks like now. Photo by Rosinberg on Flickr.

This next image is a design planned for part 2 of the renovation, a cutout of the tracks as it passes over 30th St.

I'll end this post with this Art of Noise video for Close to the Edit, which was filmed on the High Line tracks in the mid 80's. It's still a great song.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

New digs for the Busy Beavers

Chicago's Busy Beaver Button Co. is holding an open house to unveil their new location, a building they bought and rehabbed in Humboldt Park. They're also releasing the newest series of buttons in their artist curated Button-O-Matic series, the New Currency edition printed on gold buttons. Curated by Dustin Hostetler of Faesthetic Magazine, the set includes artwork by Tim Biskup, Travis Millard, and more...

Busy Beaver is where I got my photo pins made as well...
Fotoflow pins!

Busy Beaver Button Co. Grand Opening
Saturday August 8, 2009
Open House from 1 to 5 pm
Button-O-Matic Gold party from 5 to 8 pm
3279 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL

Friday, August 07, 2009

North American Wildlife at The Post Family

From their site...

North American Wildlife is an assembly of conceptual artists working across all plat forms of visual, sound and multi media installations. During the hot Brooklyn summer of 2008, creatives Bryce Wymer Mitchell Paone and Dennis Brown made a decision that (over the next five years) they would bring all of their many artistic productions to key cities across the world. The vehicle for this invasion would be titled North American Wildlife. The tour began in New York New Orleans, and is now heading to Chicago, San Francisco, and France. Wymer, Paone, and Brown create individual and collaborative pieces that are continuously evolving. Then, utilizing a combination of live performances and art installations to forge a unique experience that conveys one voice -North American Wildlife

There will be music, a DJ, Fine Art, Collage works, Prints and oh so much more!

North American Wildlife
August 7, 2009, 6:00 pm-12:30 pm


The Family Room
1821 W Hubbard, 202
Chicago, IL 60607

Greetings from Near and Afar

Artists Chema Skandal and the 64 Colors duo will have a show of new work opening tonight Friday at Rotofugi. Artwork will range from prints to handpainted vinyl figures.

Reception is Friday, August 7, 2009 from 7-10pm
1955 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

The show will be up through August 23, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Neo Country invades Detroit

Chris Kerr will be exporting his special blend of hillfolk art, dry wit, and meticulous craftsmanship (aka Neo-Country) to The Lot in Detroit. Located in Detroit's North Corktown neighborhood, The Lot is an open space consisting of two empty city lots. Art shows and performances are curated there by Kathy Leisen

More info from this weekend's show from their site...

The show is called "Frog Mountain in a Neo Country" and features two artists and their sculptural paintings and painterly sculptures. Both artists are making site-specific (and weather-proof) artworks that will be installed for the month of August, taking advantage of The Lot's unique position as a combination of a gallery and a Public Art Site.

The opening is Saturday August 8!
From 6-9pm!
Lawn Games!

Davin Brainard’s work spreads across the genres of painting, sculpture, noise music, performance, and video. His images include clouds, tanks, and unicorns, and possess a magically mischievous quality. Brainard is a core member of the collective Time Stereo and is the gallery director of Detroit’s UFO Factory. He performs in the noise band project Princess Dragonmom, which brings unicorns and swords across the globe.
In this exhibition, Brainard gives us a 20 foot tall painting entitled "1,000 FROGS".

Chris Kerr is a painter and sculptor in Chicago, IL and is the originator of the art movement Neo Country: “exploring the connection between illiteracy and text based art.” His work rotates between immediate drawings/paintings and intricate sculptural scenes that include snowy ski-lift backdrops, forests, and strip-clubs. Kerr teaches at Columbia College in Chicago and the
Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residencies in Saugatuck, MI. In this exhibition, Kerr brings us his selection of Detroit icons in the form of lawn games.

Frog Mountain in a Neo-Country
Saturday, August 8, 2009 6-9pm
3013 Cochrane
North Corktown
Detroit, MI
One block west of Trumbull, a few blocks north of I-75, right near the Motor City Casino.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Brooks Golden hits Brasil

Chicago's Brooks Golden had one of his beautifully detailed drawings featured recently in Brazil's Void magazine.

He'll also have new work available this weekend at Sapere Gallery in Wicker Park's Flat Iron Building.

Opening Friday, August 7, 2009
Sapere Gallery - Flat Iron Building
1579 N Milwaukee Ave
3rd floor
Chicago, IL