"Contemporary Citizens" -- also called "12 Chicago" --
was a one-night show that seemed to be more for artists than collectors,
like the "Meeting of Styles"
that periodically gathers together the graffiti community.
It took place on the near west side, in a warehouse
owned by artist/collector/art-mover Ronald Montanez,
and it drew artists from the nearby neighborhoods
to the south and east.
Sergio Gomez and Mario Gonzalez Jr.
Several pieces were collaborations between Sergio Gomez, an artist, curator, and gallerist associated with the Zhao B Center-- and Mario Gonzales Jr, also known as Zore, a well traveled graffiti master, whom I once wrote about here
Lately, Zore's paintings have gotten almost too dark to read. On the other hand, Sergio Gomez usually gives his upbeat, figurative paintings an intense, inner glow. Maybe too intense.
Which makes for a very enjoyable collaboration between these two extremes.
Ish Muhammad Nieves
Here's another artist who has taken graffiti from the urban landscape to the gallery wall.
Like many artists, and almost all poets, he has another career (power plant engineer). But that does not seem to have detracted from a single minded devotion to visuality.
I don't know whether he's Muslim, but this piece is definitely in the great tradition of Islamic art as it presents the wonders of existence without specific reference to anything that exists.
Olga Knopf (Rybchenko)
This fiery landscape demonstrates how much a traditional Russian studio artist has in common with the Latin street artists in the same show.
Olga Knopf runs a large art restoration business with her husband, who, coincidentally, is the son of this noted Russian painter
who spent his final years at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago.
Hopefully, the wall full of pieces in this exhibit announces her return to making paintings.
This one feels like an orchid, doesn't it ?
"here is something beautiful" rather than "here is my struggle"
A nice complement to the rest of the show.
Reminds me of ice on a window during an arctic vortex.
Very comforting and relaxing.
I met this artist's muse last month at the Palette and Chisel - and she lets me know whenever his work goes on display. Because I like it -- and have written about it here
His figures are statuesque - a quality which disappeared from American painting at mid century.
Though his figures do often emerge from a dark, dingy, and somewhat depressing world.
He seems so comfortable with depicting figures in space, I had assumed that he had spent a lot of time drawing from life - but Chuck set me straight on this matter: he mostly draws from imagination.
This is the closest I've seen him come to an Impressionist's
celebration of light and the world seen.
Mostly, his world is inner not outer.
This is a girl of his dreams, and probably she vanishes as soon as he reaches for that bare midriff.
Chuck brought many large canvases to this show, and there wasn't enough room to hang them all. So this one sat on the floor outside the display area.
The clouds feel full of opportunity but the dark splotch in the water seems to threaten despair. But I'm not sure how it would feel when hung up on a wall
Kimler seems to be living in a brutal, horrific world that's about to get even worse.
He could be making street art in Baghdad.
So he can be credited for honesty - but disparaged for hopelessness.