Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ivan Brunetti signing at Chicago Comics

Chicago cartoonist and teacher, Ivan Brunetti, will be signing his new book, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice tomorrow night, Friday at Chicago Comics.  Ivan is known for his raw and humorous comics and illustrations published in books, the Chicago Reader, and in the New Yorker over the years.  He also edited two volumes of the Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories.

His new book functions as a sort of syllabus to a course in cartooning, walking you through the steps needed to grow in the field. 

Ivan Brunetti book signing
at Chicago Comics
3244 N Clark St
Chicago, IL

Friday, April 1, 2011
5 to 7 pm

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Neo-Country is back

Employees Must Wash Hands, drawing by Chris Kerr

Chris Kerr, one of my all-time favorite artists out of Chicago, has just launched his newly redesigned site, Neo Country.  Explore a world where witches wash their hands before returning back to work and tiny stripper clothes pin women seduce businessmen clothes pins.  Chris has produced a great variety of darkly humorous paintings, installations, drawings, and screenprints over the years.

Trouble at the Strip Club, sculpture by Chris Kerr
Prozac Six Pack, sculpture by Chris Kerr

Free Casket Fridays, painting by Chris Kerr

Who Drank All the Blood?, screenprint by Chris Kerr

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

Montreal artist Jon Rafman, started putting together a selection of images he edited from Google's massive Street View project a couple of years ago.  Selecting images shot by the 9-view cameras mounted on top of roving Google trucks as they document roads and cities around the world, Jon has compiled a mesmerizing collection of photographs.  Here are a few that I found interesting....

You can view the whole selection at  And read an interview with Jon here where he explains more about why he chose the images on his site.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicago's Second Cities

Dedicated and talented documentary photographer M. Tuteur, will have a huge solo show opening tonight in Humboldt Park.  Work will include some of the last images of Cabrini-Green and other housing projects before they were torn down.  Tuteur has a sharp eye that captures signs of life where most people wouldn't even see any.  I highly recommend this show.

M. Tuteur: Chicago's Second Cities
at Studio 914
914 N. California Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, March 26, 2011
7pm to midnight

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Bucktown's Revolution Tattoo hosts a 30 artist group show tonight, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered.  Expertly curated by Erin Rembert, there should be a lot of great and affordable artwork tonight.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
at Revolution Tattoo
2221 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, March 26, 2011
8 to 11 pm

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday Bike Party

Tonight's the closing party for the Winter Bike Art Show at CUAS in Pilsen.  This month's edition of the Chicago Critical Mass bike ride will start at Daley Plaza at 5:30 pm today and end at the CUAS space at Halsted and Cermak.  Here's the full schedule of events going on at the closing party tonight including

7:00pm - Beyond Bike Lanes: A Design Charrette
8:00pm - Infinite Cycle: The Puppet Show
8:45pm - The Racketeers: all girl BMX bike trick & dance troupe
9:00pm - Runway Show: Bikes + Models = 2sexyforwords
10:00pm - DJ sounds

Critical Mass Winter Bike Party
at the Chicago Urban Art Society
2229 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL

Friday, March 25, 2011
7pm to 1am

Albert Reyes show in L.A.

If I were in LA today, I would definitely go to Albert Reyes' show tonight at the Montana Store in Echo Park.

Chicago Zine Fest 2011

Today and tomorrow Saturday mark the 2nd annual Chicago Zine Fest.  Building on the success of last year's event, this year's edition is more than double the size, with the number of tables going from 45 last year to 115 tables for this Saturday, with well over 200 zinesters, writers, and artists represented.  Exhibitors are coming in from around the country and the world, including some from New Zealand.  I took part in it last year and had a great time.  This year should be even better.

There'll be events at Columbia College, 826CHI, and at Quimby's today Friday.  Saturday will be the major zine show/exhibition at Columbia College, with workshops and films as well.  There'll also be an after party in Pilsen on Saturday night.  All info on times and events is posted here.

Some of the zine publishers and artists I'm looking forward to include Tim Pigott's Parking Block Publishing, Lilli Carre, Connect Force, Golden Age, Microcosm Publishing, Grime Time, and Spudnik Press.

Chicago Zine Fest
The zine sale/exhibition will be
Saturday, March 26, 2011
10am to 5pm
at Columbia College Chicago's
Conaway Center
1104 S Wabash
on both the 1st & 8th floors
Chicago, IL

Alex Blau at Firecat Projects

Black Pinwheel - New Day, 2011 by Alex Blau

Colorado artist, Alex Blau, has a show of new paintings opening tonight Friday at Tony Fitzpatrick's Firecat Projects in Bucktown.

Alex Blau
@Firecat Projects
2124 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception Friday, March 25, 2011
7pm to 10pm
Complimentary Three Floyd's beer will be served

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Resplendent Semblance

Baltimore and Brooklyn street artist, Gaia, has another show opening tomorrow night Friday at Maxwell Colette's new gallery space in River North.  Following on the heels of his preview show at Pawn Works last week, this show is even bigger.  And to top it all off, there's also an installation on view at the Loop Pop-Up Gallery on State and Adams.  This should be a great show.

Gaia: Resplendent Semblance
at Maxwell Colette Gallery
833 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 25, 2011
6pm to 9pm
On view through May 7, 2011

The Art Dump: Double Feature

Girl Skateboard's in-house design team, the Art Dump, will be revisiting their skate videos and interpreting them to create new movie posters.  They'll be shown tomorrow night Friday at the Post Family's space in West Town.

at The Post Family's Family Room Gallery
1821 W Hubbard
2nd floor #202
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 25, 2011
7pm to 11pm
On view through April 22, 2011

Gut Grinding and more at Rotofugi

Chicago's Rotofugi has two great shows opening tomorrow night Friday.  First off is Gut Grinder by McBess, who creates retro-cartoon inspired work.
The other show being presented Friday is Love the End by Andrew Bell who will have new artwork and figures available.  Both artists will be in attendance.

Andrew Bell:  Love the End
McBess: Gut Grinder
2780 N Lincoln Ave (at Diversey)
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 25, 2011
7 to 10 pm
Both artists will do signings from 7 to 8pm
The shows will be on view through April 17, 2011

Drop It Like It's Not

I don't know anything about this show except that I like the title, Drop It Like It's Not, and the Murdertown Gallery drawing above.  Those two reasons should hopefully be good indicators to check this apartment gallery show out.

Drop It Like It's Not
2351 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 25, 2011
6pm to 9pm

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Small Press and Comics Symposium of Chicago

Poster design by Lilli Carré

This Thursday, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will be presenting the Small Press and Comics Symposium of Chicago.  Featuring some great guest panelists including cartoonist Chris Ware and publisher Doug Fogelson.

Small Press and Comics Symposium of Chicago
at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Maclean Ballroom
112 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL

Thursday, March 24, 2011
4pm to 8pm

DFW Comics

Exploded View has just published a comic by Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Isaac Lin, and Barry McGee/TWIST, aka Comic Kid, IKE, and Lydia Fong respectively.  Featuring more of their fun goofiness, this is a 4-page silkscreened 12" x 9" comic, that folds out into an 18" x 24" poster.  Priced at $8.00 and published in an edition of 300. 

Available at select bookstores like LA's Ooga Booga, Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn, and directly from Andrew at Philadelphia's Space 1026.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Police and Thieves

I would go see this show based on the title alone.  Luckily, the artist lineup is impressive as well.  Guest curated by L.A. artists Karla Davis and Mario Ybarra, Jr, this show examines the historical relationship between police and criminals and their portrayals in the media and popular culture.

Artist lineup, including Chicago's Ray Noland / CRO, is posted here.

Police and Thieves
at the Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S Cornell
Chicago, IL

This show opened in February.  The artist reception will be this Sunday, March 20, 2011 from 3 to 5 pm
On view through May 29, 2011


Two of Chicago's brightest artists will have a joint show opening tomorrow night Saturday at Impala Studio in Rogers Park.  They'll be combining forces to become Z-Factor.  I caught a sneak preview of the black light extravaganza a couple nights ago during the show's installation.  There'll be an art piece and photography installation filling up the room.  It should be a really fun night.

at Impala Studio
1768 W Greenleaf (just west of Clark St)
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, March 19, 2011
6 to midnight
On view through April 19, 2011

John Sparagana at Corbett vs Dempsey

Houston artist, John Spargana, has a show based on collaged and recontextualized magazine pages opening tonight at Corbett vs Dempsey.

John Sparagana: Between the Eyes
at Corbett Vs Dempsey
1120 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 18, 2011
5 to 8pm
On view through April 30, 2011

Gaia in Chicago

Baltimore and NYC street artist, Gaia, is currently in Chicago.  With three exhibitions opening tonight and next weekend, as well as many new wheatpaste pieces up in the city, Chicagoans will definitely have a nice exposure to his work.

The shows kick off with a sneak preview of his work tonight at Pawn Works.  There will be a show titled, Resplendent Semblance, opening next week at Maxwell Colette Gallery as well as a Loop Pop-Up Gallery appearance at State and Adams in downtown Chicago.

The show at Maxwell Colette will open next Friday, March 25th, 2011.  I'll post more on that in a few days.  In the meantime check out these pictures

 of Gaia's recent wheatpastes in Chicago by Billy Craven.  There are many more posted on his Flickr page.


Noble & Superior Projects in West Town has a show opening tonight titled Post-Smithson.  Featuring work dealing with land and the environment using video and small scale installations by Emilie Crewe, Isabelle Gougenheim, and Emily Irvine.  This intimately scaled apartment gallery always has well thought out and interesting shows.

at Noble & Superior Projects
1418 W Superior (in the rear)
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 18, 2011
6 to 10 pm
On view through April 16, 2011


Chicago artist, Hebru Brantley, has a show opening tonight at the Zhou B. Art Center in Bridgeport.  Check out the interview with him about tonight's show in the Chicago Reader.

Hebru Brantley
Afro-Futurism: Impossible View
Zhou B. Art Center
1029 W 35th St
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, March 18, 2011
6 to 10 pm
On view through April 25, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan Love

In the wake of the devestating earthquake, tsunami, and now nuclear radiation crisis in northern Japan, many artists are showing their support by setting aside proceeds from sales of their work.

Two of Chicago's reigning plush toy masters, Lana Crooks and Shawnimals, are donating funds raised from the sale of items on their sites.

Shawnimal's Wee Ninja and Wee Devil (pictured above) are specially priced at $10 each this week with 100% of sales going to the Red Cross.  They've already raised $1,000 as of today, Thursday.

Simpletype Studio is offering this Daruma print for $20 with all the proceeds going to the Red Cross - Japan Relief Fund.  According to their site, Darumas are round holllow Japanese wish dolls in the shape of an egg.  They represent Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk and founder of the art of Zen.  Because of their ability to right themselves back up after being pushed, these dolls have become a symbol for optimism, persistence, and strong determination.

Jesse LeDeux of LeDeuxville has produced a print in conjunction with Rhode Island's Tiny Showcase.
$25 from the sale of each $35 print will be donated to the International Red Cross' relief efforts in Japan.  This print is part of an unsigned edition and is available through March 29th.

Giant Robot in L.A. has organized a show opening this Saturday, March 19th with all proceeds from the sale of donated artwork going to Unicef and children in Japan.  Many great artists have already submitted art for the show including, Albert Reyes, Chris Bettig, Gary Baseman, Bigfoot, Jay Ryan, Deth P. Sun, David Choe, and Barry McGee/Twist. Items not sold Saturday will be available online beginning the next day.