Contemporary Citizens - 15th & West
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.