Monday, March 30, 2009

Officially Unoffical

Tomorrow night's the opening for Officially Unoffical .

Officially Unofficial - Inspired Art for Obama Exhibition from rebexa on Vimeo.

From their site...
OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIAL is an exhibition of prints, posters, photographs, and videos that emerged in 2008 as icons of the art movement in support of Barack Obama for President. The exhibition will include official campaign materials as well as independent work by artists and designers from Chicago and across the country.

The show is being curated by NATHAN MASON, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs • SCOTT THOMAS, the former Design Director of Obama for America • Chicago artist RAY NOLAND of CRO • in collaboration with THE POST FAMILY • HAL WERT of the Kansas City Art Institute.

Chicago Tourism Center
72 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL

Opening Night
March 31, 2009
RSVP here

Performances by
Shala & Rachel Katzman
DJ Million$Mano
Sponsored by Grolsch

The exhibit is free and will run from
April 1 - May 31, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Poop yer pants

Mostly Gallery will be presenting the yeti-riffic work of Elisa Harkins aka Pooper, Mr. Walters aka Nerfect, and Pants Laroo.

Mikale DeGraff (Lazer Crystal, Mahjongg) will be DJing.

Mostly Gallery
7pm to 11pm (and possibly a lot later)
Saturday, March 28, 2009
1619 W. Julian
Chicago, Illinois

REVISE CMW at Oh No Doom

Welcome to Ninjatown

Shawnimals is unveiling their newest addition to the Ninjatown family, Series 2 of the plush Micro-Ninjas. Mr. and Mrs. Shawnimals will be on hand to doodle for you.

4 to 8pm
Saturday, March 28, 2009
1953 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

Friday, March 27, 2009

Paintings and Paper at Kavi Gupta

New York based painter Angelina Gualdoni has a show of paintings opening tonight at Kavi Gupta Gallery. Titled Modern Remnants, her work is "focused on modern ruins such as abandoned strip malls, decaying corporate high-rises, and housing projects in various states of demolition."

There will also be a show curated by artist Chris Johanson titled Vaguely Paperly, featuring work done on paper in various ways. Artists include Brendan Fowler, who will also be performing as BARR.

Opening reception Friday, March 27, 2009
Special Opening Night performances 7:30 PM
Tom Greenwood, w/ Ron Burns

Kavi Gupta Gallery
835 W Washington Blvd 2nd fl
Chicago, IL 60607

The two shows run through May 9, 2009

Re:Session Skatedeck Art Show

Tonight's the reception for the Re:Session Skatedeck show at Columbia College Chicago.

It's being held in conjunction with the Southern Graphics Council Conference.

Friday March 27th 6 to 9 pm
Columbia College Chicago
1006 S Michigan Avenue, 1st Fl
Chicago, IL

The show is up through April 12, 2009

Cody Hudson & Corey Arnold at Andrew Rafacz

Cody Hudson has a new show opening tonight at Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago's West Loop. Entitled, thanks man, see you around man, fuck yeah, you guys are wild, thanks man, i dig it, see you, it'll feature new paintings and drawings.

There will also be new work by Corey Arnold. Corey was a commercial fisherman for 13 years who documented his surreal life on the sea. I like this birthday image with a pinata.

Both shows open tonight Friday, March 27, 2009 at 6pm
Andrew Rafacz Gallery
835 W Washington Blvd 2nd fl
Chicago, IL 60607

Roger Brown

One of my all time favorite artists is having a mini-retrospective at Russell Bowman. This exhibition covers his work from 1968, when he had just finished school at the Art Institute of Chicago, through 1980. Roger Brown passed away in 1997

MARCH 27 – MAY 16, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, March 27, 5:30 PM – 8:00PM

Russell Brown Art Advisory
311 W Superior Suite 115
Chicago, IL 60610

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ninjasonik hits Chicago

I'm psyched to hear that Ninjasonik is playing in Chicago tomorrow night. I've heard nothing but good things about their live show. Here's the video for Art School Girls that I posted here earlier. It's hilarious.

They're on tour with The Death Set, Team Robespierre, Totally Michael, and Cerebral Ballzy. This show was put together by the Empty Bottle and was supposed to be at AV-aerie but as this Chicago Reader article points out, the City of Chicago unfortunately shut that space down for improper licensing. So it's been moved over to the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

7 pm, Tuesday March 24th, 2009
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan in the Bridgeport neighborhood
Chicago, IL

There's also going to be a dj afterset at Sonotheque later that night



$5 Cover (free with flyer)
1444 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mapplethorpe Polaroids

A decade before Robert Mapplethorpe became known for his large scale photographs of flowers and nudes, he was a student at Parsons who experimented with art based on altars and collage. Soon after he graduated in 1970 he began to use a Polaroid camera to document his artwork, and to use as source material. He then began to see the black and white Polaroids themselves as works of art. During a 5-year period in the early 70's he produced over 1,500 Polaroid photographs, using them to experiment in methods of portraiture as well as still-lifes. Towards the end of that decade he acquired a large-format camera and began to create the work he became famous for.

This show of over 90 Polaroids originated at the Whitney Museum of American Art and is now on view at the Block Museum of Art. It shows how his early explorations with Polaroid film informed his later work. The Block Museum has also recently acquired a selection of color Polaroids by Andy Warhol. Many of these were used by Warhol as the basis of his large silkscreen portraits and are on display as well.

Polaroids: Mapplethorpe
Block Museum of Art
on the Northwestern University Campus
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

Through April 5, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Matériel Magazine Release party

Version, one of the best art and performance festivals in Chicago, is holding a fundraiser in conjunction with the release of two new magazines. Matériel, is an oversized newsprint publication that will be a showcase for photographers, illustrators, and designers. Pr is a newsletter and art poster that will alternate publication between issues of Proximity magazine, to keep you up to the minute with interviews, articles, and a calendar.

The evening will feature work from Matériel on the walls, as well as music performances by Bobby Conn and Julie Pomerleau, Casual Encounter, Caw! Caw!, and a few special guest stars.

Saturday, March 21, 2009, 8pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan St
Chicago, IL

$10 suggested donation gets you free copies of both magazines.

The final Gutter Butter!

DJ Logan Bay is leaving our fair city soon for tropical pastures on the other side of the globe. He and DJ Ben Fasman are throwing their last Gutter Butter dance party at the Hideout tonight, beginning at 11 pm. I'm going to greatly miss Logan's fine music selection and hand drawn party fliers. Jukage is guaranteed.

Gutter Butter at the Hideout
11pm to 3am
Saturday, March 21, 2009
$5, 21+
1354 W Wabansia
2 blocks north of North Ave, 1 block east of Elston Ave
Chicago, IL

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cory Arcangel

Brooklyn based artist, Cory Arcangel will give a talk tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. It's part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Conversations on the Edge series. Here's a description from their site...

Best known for his Nintendo game cartridge hacks, multi-media trickster Cory Arcangel uses new and vintage computers, sound, performance, and the web to recontextualize popular figures (Super Mario Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel) and aesthetic systems (the instructional video, adult contemporary music, the “artist talk”) in subversively comedic ways. This evening, he’ll provide an overview of his practice, possibly including his Super Mario movies, the epic and aptly titled performance piece “Bruce Springsteen Born to Run Glockenspiel Addendum,” and an archetypal “experimental film,” complete with digital scratches and Final Cut Pro countdown.

Cory Arcangel
6pm Thursday, March 19, 2009
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N State St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Chicago, IL


I really love this song, Just Briefly, by Daedelus...

His live shows are worth catching too. Besides using keyboards and computers he also performs with a magic box full of tiny buttons.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stop Smiling magazine issue release party

Stop Smiling magazine is holding a release party tomorrow night at Design Within Reach, to celebrate their annual 20 Interviews issue. DJ's Ben Fasman and Logan Bay will spin. Refreshments will be provided.


7 to 9pm, Thursday March 19, 2009
Design Within Reach
1574 North Kingsbury at North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Free parking or take the Red Line to North Ave and walk 3 blocks west to Kingsbury.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Super Secret Art Interaction

Shadowy Chicago artist H. Mathis has recently unveiled the results of his unprecedented Super Secret Art Interaction (S.S.A.I.). In 2007, he began placing ads on Craigslist inviting people to have a super secret meeting with him. Of those who accepted his offer, he asked them to describe themselves so that he could create a portrait of them. They were then to meet with him at a public location where he would wordlessly hand them their drawing, take their picture, and then part ways. He wore a disguise at each meeting.

It took him one year to get 19 people to secretly meet. Most of his meetings lasted just a few minutes. For one meeting, at Milwaukee and Ashland Ave, he was stopped by the police and questioned for 30 minutes over what he was doing and why he was wearing a fake mustache. One woman came all the way from St. Louis for her meeting. Each encounter was secretly taped and documented.

In January of this year, H. Mathis held a secret art show, to which only the people who had met with him were invited to attend. Upon their arrival they found a display featuring pictures of each person and a copy of the drawings they had been given.

H. Mathis was present in a glass booth and presented each participant with a copy of a book documenting the S.S.A.I. project.

60 Pages Full Color
First Edition of 50 Copies
Signed by the artist
6" x 9"

SSAI Surveillance Footage
DVD Running Time: 26 minutes
First Edition of 50 Copies
(Secretly) Signed by the artist

That book, and its companion DVD with the secretly filmed meetings, is available through Multi-Polar Projects. More information on the project is posted here on the new site, ANTI©SUCCESS.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Blast from the Past

Passing of the Baton, originally uploaded by caboosezine.

This is a letter written 12 years ago from the original owner of Quimby's Bookstore explaining why he and his wife were leaving Chicago (and their store) for Amsterdam. They ended up selling the store to Eric Kirsammer, the owner of Chicago Comics.

I remember visiting Quimby's when it first opened in the early 90's on Damen. I lived nowhere near there so it was always an adventure getting there by CTA. Dodging the weirdos standing by the old Busy Bee diner, as well as the dudes slanging drugs in the park as I walked to Quimby's. But it was worth it for the incredible variety of books and magazines they offered. I bought a great handmade mini comic there by Chris Ware, who lived around the corner from Quimby's. He, Archer Prewitt, and Dan Clowes (Ghost World) would do signings there. It was also one of the few places in Chicago to find graffiti magazines, which was a bigger deal in those pre-internet days.

I thought things would change for the worse when it moved to North Ave but the store actually got better. There's a larger selection now and the mini art shows in the window display are always fun to see. I'm glad that it didn't get shut down. Seeing the original name at the bottom of the letterhead is funny though. It was always a pain to explain that name when I was recommending it to people. Reminding them that "weird" was the original definition of "queer". I hope that the store continues to operate for years to come. It's seriously one of the main things I love about Chicago.

Quimby's Bookstore
1854 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cloud Form at Hungry Man

I know nothing about this show except that it's an installation that may or may not have something to do with clouds. It's at a newish space called Hungry Man. Also, I thought the 8-bit seizure inducing flier was pretty snazzy.

Cloud Form - Mark Rumsey
Opening Friday, Marcy 13th, 2009 from 6 to 11pm
Open March 14 & 15 from 12 to 6 pm and March 15th to the 20th by appointment
Hungry Man Gallery
2135 N Rockwell
Chicago, IL 60647

Thursday, March 12, 2009


New ciah-ciahs on the walls, originally uploaded by ..ciah-ciah.

Polish artist Ciah-Ciah has put out an open call for round two of the Paper Pyramids project. You can download a template, create a design on it, and then submit it. Designs chosen will then be available for anyone to download. They can then cut it out and have their own paper toy. Here are some from the first series...

The deadline for Series 2 has been extended to March 31, 2009. More info here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mario Zoots

, originally uploaded by MarioZoots.

, originally uploaded by MarioZoots.

Colorado artist and zine maker Mario Zoots has been creating an interesting body of collage work for the past several years. His latest ones feature views into people's heads revealing crystals and other freaky goodness. Check out more of his work here.

, originally uploaded by MarioZoots.

, originally uploaded by MarioZoots.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ave B

Ave B, originally uploaded by George Eastman House.

This 1969 photograph is by street photographer James Jowers. The George Eastman House photography museum in Rochester, NY has a large collection of his work from the late 1960's and early 1970's. A group of his NYC photographs are featured here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Skin Deep

Guts and other innards aren't my usual cup of tea but I never get tired of viewing KAWS' iconic Companion figure in all its physical manifestations. Recent gallery shows in New York and L.A. have featured large-scale versions of his characters, but this lil' dude takes the cake in portability, as well as affordability. He'll be available at noon this Saturday, March 7th at Chicago's Saint Alfred.

Saint Alfred
1531 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spring Thaw

Chicago weather is currently going through its usual extreme mood swings but the title of the upcoming THAW show is enough to give me comfort. Taking place this Saturday at the Western Ave Lofts + Studios and presented by [prak-sis], THAW will feature new work by artists working in sculpture, video, installation, photography, and painting.

One of the artists working in that last category is Tyrue "SLANG" Jones. An old school member of Chicago's graffiti scene, he has continued to expand and build upon his spraypaint heritage with expressive portrait drawings, as well as paintings portraying more explicit commentary on race. The pattern on the Nike Slave Shoe painting pictured below is based on the old cutaway drawings of packed slave ships.

The full list of artists and DJ's can be found here.

THAW at Western Ave Lofts + Studios
1513 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening Saturday March 7th from 6 to midnight with a $5 donation
The exhibition runs through April 6, 2009.

Monday, March 02, 2009

ReSession Skate Deck show

Character Skateboards and the 2009 Southern Graphics Council Conference are presenting a show of skate decks in Chicago. In keeping with the SGC conference theme all the art on the decks has been created using different printmaking processes like image transfers, stencils, relief printing, and silkscreen, as well as painting and drawing.

Artists include Artillery, Jake Austen, Blutt, Brooks Golden, Dorian Byrd, Czr Prz, Joey D, Erick De La Rosa, Paul E Delgado, Kevin Demski, EA1, Fathøm, Flip, Scott Gruss, Michael C. Hsiung, Lee Larkins, Matthew Lew, Joseph Miller, Anders Nilsen, Nicholas Peterson, Joey Potts, Rejoice, Revise CMW, SARO, Andy Schansberg, Shawnimal, Lou Shields, Shane Thompson, THOR, Veggiesomething, and Peat Wollaeger (stenSOUL).

Work will be shown from March 6th through March 31st, 2009 with a closing reception March 27th from 6pm-9pm.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Too Black for B.E.T.

Leaving Space 1026 in Philadelphia last month, I was handed a copy of Jayson Musson's Too Black for B.E.T. An oversized volume published in a minimalist design, the book is a mix of both incendiary and hilarious declarations and observations.

Jayson is a columnist, artist, and 25% of the post-black, post-modern, and post-hip-hop band Plastic Little. Too Black for B.E.T. is available here through Free News Projects.