A lot of good design went into giving the Washington Park Arts Incubator a welcoming and airy street-side façade, with its big, vulnerable glass windows. An artwork like Alfredo Salazar-Caro’s “In and Out, In and Out, In and Out” demonstrates just how easy it is to shut that illusion of openness down.
In 1951, Robert Rauschenberg exhibited a series of canvasses painted white all over, in part to test how we might think about the simple play of gallery lights and shadow on a surface. Roberto Adrian Rodriguez, in his recent solo show “Air Affair” at BLUE1647 in Pilsen, took that same historical interest in the insubstantial qualities of a painting, smashed it together with extensive 3-D graffiti practice, piped it through an airbrush, and mixed it with some actual grit. Continue reading
So how does that feel, to be in a position of power like that?” The young woman in the frame tossed her head at the invisible interviewer. Artist Carlos Matallana and I were sifting through raw, man-on-the-street footage from the first beta run of his large-scale roleplaying simulation, “The Anger Games.” Continue reading
“This is what this café looks like, at this moment,” said Willy Chyr, a video game developer based out of Hyde Park.
Video games get a rough shake. If they’re not openly denounced as child’s play, few people give the rhetoric of procedure—the idea that “playing” can impart something unique—a second glance. As a visual art installation focused on video game aesthetics, “Bit Wars: Art Tribute to 8bit and 16bit Videogaming” had its work cut out for it from the start. Continue reading
The engineer with the lost headlamp slipped as a shower of cinders, a flaming plank, caved out right before him. One leg dipped into the river. He laid there a moment, straddled half-off the pontoon.
“We’re having some electrical difficulties.”
Bridgeport on a Sunday morning: a seating queue winds snugly around the corner of the organic eatery Nana, its outdoor café space buzzing both with young brunchers and the bees that dive-bomb them from the planters. There’s a sidewalk sale assembled on the stoops of Jackalope Coffee and Tea House, attracting a crush of folks who are perhaps too cool for you. Continue reading
It’s something captured by a war reporter; it’s lifted from a horror film. Raw hamburger sloughs off the artist’s face and naked body, held in various poses. Photography flash-freezes four individual moments of sloppy decomposition. The resulting pictures are part of “Gratification,” a joint exhibition between six artists out of the School of the Art Institute (SAIC), hosted in unit 410 at Mana Contemporary, a satellite space of the Chicago Urban Art Society.
It’s the Madonna meets the Joker. Trapped behind the canvas’s glossy finish, a naked clown cups her breast with a gloved hand. Continue reading
I‘m in a Hyde Park Starbucks, hunched over the laptop of game developer Rob Lockhart, trying hard to read the world as computer code. Continue reading