Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Those Fingers Through My Hair

Those fingers through my hair
That sly come hither stare
that strips my conscience bare
it's witchcraft

I would have to confess,
but only under torture, of course,
to a fascination with witchcraft
subsequent to the above Sinatra song
and this movie that I saw when I was about twelve.

How cool was that!
Only witches can turn off streetlights
by snapping their fingers.

Though my enthusiasm waned
when my only remaining friend from high school
disappeared after an unfortunate involvement
with the occult.

His story was dramatized by the Unsolved Mysteries television program.

(Here's the video filmed at my art club nearly 20 years ago
and featuring yours truly as one of the talking heads)

So now I think that witches should probably be avoided,
( unless, of course, they look as good as Kim Novak )
and art made by witches does not especially appeal to me.

Except that Elijah Burgher
a recent graduate from the S.A.I.C.
is so darn good.

I saw his work last weekend at the Iceburg Projects booth at the MDW Fair in a re-purposed factory
on the south side of Chicago.

Lured there by this post from a local art maven,
visiting this fair was almost a total loss for me.
(but then, so is the Museum of Contemporary Art
which has a much larger budget)

But Mr. Burgher is one of the best figurative artists
working in the city today,
and even if he died (or disappeared) tomorrow,
I suspect that one of his pieces would appear
in a survey of early 21st C. Chicago art
done in a hundred years.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

North Park Art Walk : 2011

It was time for the second annual Anna Koh Salon - also known as the North Park Art Walk

Above is Anna and Jeff's maquette for a current commission depicting the first American-born saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton

How complex, how melodramatic, and how Victorian! The final 8-foot panels were in the beginning stages of modeling.

(BTW - here's a design my father made to compete for a Mother Seton commission back in the early 60's. It didn't win, and ended up in my bedroom until I went off to college)

Meanwhile, Jeff has been back at the easel lately, defying every standard of art made after 1900.

(though I think Aristotle, as well as Plato, would have been pleased)

Here's his work-in-progress.

Ryan Shultz

Many of last year's artists were missing, but there were so many good, new ones.... I think the show the show was better than ever.

Melinda Whitmore

Melinda Whitmore

Catherine Maize

Her gallery brings her to Art Chicago every year.

I love this early 20th C. Modernism.

Kim Chong Massey

The title of this piece is "Memory" - and yes, that's how memories feel to me.

Janet Metzger

An exciting new discovery for me, she got an MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 1995, but then "took a sabbatical" to raise several children.

Now that all the children are in school, she's back at the easel doing portraits of some of her fellow moms -- much more sensitive, and beautiful, than similar portrait-pattern arrangements done by Kehinde Wiley

Ivan Albright

There were a few dead artists in this year's show, as well.

The above is especially interesting because it's a portrait of the artist's father, the painter Adam Emory Albright.

Fritzi Brod (1900-1952)

Here's a self portrait by a Czech/Chicago artist completely new to me.

She wrote a book about floral patterns.

Barton Faist

And here's a portrait of C.S. Lewis by the artist/dealer who brought the two historic pieces shown above.

Elsa Munoz

A rising star in Chicago art, this view through her grandmother's window is typical of her feeling-saturated paintings.

David Abed

Tim Lowly

Lowly teaches art at nearby North Park University

Here's his explanation.

Lois Raub

In the foreground is a terra cotta by Lois.

On the wall behind, is a portrait of her by her husband, Keith.

They've been married for as long as I've been alive. (and I'm on the mailing list of the AARP )

I wish we had more exhibits of mosaic.

It has a history that I really enjoy -- and the pieces last forever, unless there's an earthquake or barbarian invasion.

North Park is a culturally diverse neighborhood - and here's one of my favorite storefronts that's a fine piece of conceptual art.

It seems to be a miracle that the sign itself doesn't fall crashing into the street below.

Michael Ruback

And speaking of conceptual art, this is Michael's conception of the composer, Charles Ives, sitting upon a "musical chair"

Minh Do

Nobody but Rembrandt does a scraggly beard better than Minh.

Matthew Almy

This scene depicts one of the psalms where David thanks the Lord after battle.

It doesn't feel like an historical re-enactment, but I'm sure that's not the point.