“What might have once spoken to freshly-split timbers and a new picket fence is now a fixer-up.” [draft]
“I wanted to bring them back, larger than life and in color, so that people could look at them, and know their names, and know what happened to them.”
For artist Allyson Packer, there’s a lot more than soil in the pot of a houseplant. “I really like to think of them as little, tiny pieces of land,” she said, “that are kind of moving throughout the city.” Continue reading
By what right does someone exhibit a doormat as artwork? Billy McGuinness’s twelve-foot wide dirt-monument gets on the wall as part of “Migrant Files,” a three-artist—McGuinness, Jaxon Pallas, Austen Brown—show currently up at ACRE Projects in Pilsen, on the basis of a pretty good idea. McGuinness’s mat began as a strip of canvas—the same stuff you’d stretch into a painting. He laid it on the floor, just past the visitor’s door to Division XI of the Cook County Jail. It ended as an intricately anonymous record of human movement over time and a self-proclaimed (although decidedly tongue-in-cheek) “high-modernist object.” Continue reading
Curator Ed Marszewski grabbed me by the shoulder. “You have no idea how seriously these kids—,” he checked himself mid-sentence, nodding at the grey heads in the crowd, “these old men take this!” Continue reading
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