Saturday, May 31, 2008

5 Years on the Run

June 7 – September 13, 2008

The Orleans Street Gallery celebrates 5 years of exhibiting contemporary Chicago art with an anniversary exhibition highlighting breakout artists, many of whom, have since exhibited nationally and internationally. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet many of the artists and learn about their work first-hand. Featuring live painting by Violet Jaffe (Arlington Heights), and Elizabeth Parker (Rolling Meadows), a happening by Chicago based performance artist Chris Roberts – and an opportunity to trade a T-Shirt for an original “I am Trying to Figure out Where I Fit In” T-Shirt by Nathan Keay.

Prominent artists include: Miguel Cortez, Mary Ellen Croteau, Kazuki Eguchi, Erik Fabian, Nathan Keay, Makeba Kedem-DuBose, Industry of the Ordinary, Anne Lass, Aimee Lee, Jason Reblando, Chris Roberts, Brandon Sorg, Brian Sorg and many more. Art Wall: Paintings by Rachel Weaver Rivera

The Five Years on the Run Anniversary Reception will be held on Saturday, June 7, 2008 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The exhibit will conclude September 13, 2008. Orleans Street Gallery is located in the Bourbon Street section of Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174. Gallery hours are Thurs. 12–7 pm, Fri. & Sat. 12–8 pm, Sun. 11–4 pm. For more information contact Gallery Director Anni Holm at art or 630.524.5048. Free and open to the public.

Opening Saturday June 7, from 6-10pm

Orleans Street Gallery
Located off Bourbon Street at Pheasant Run Resort
4051 East Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chupacabras: The Myth in the Era of the Internet

I came across this review online about an art show that I am currently participating in.

number 54, march 2008

Chupacabras: The Myth in the Era of the Internet
Julio Rangel

Myths and legends have always been a vehicle by which civilizations have gained understanding of themselves and of other things. Studying them implies a stirring up of its deeper cultural mechanisms. In the era of the Internet, that resonating chamber in which rumors spread at light-speed, urban legends can be offered to everyone for examination, like an animal going under the scalpel of sociologists, anthropologists, and above all artists.

The exhibition, “Chupacabras (Artists Reinterpret the Myth)”, presented at the National Museum of Mexican Art offers a reinterpretation of this legend by a group of young artists that during the 1990’s spread throughout Latin America, and which apparently originated in . The entity, ubiquitous and monstrous, the Chupacabra has been seen stealing chickens, and attacking livestock like goats and cattle; resulting in peasants everywhere losing a good night’s sleep.

It was to be expected that the majority of these artists would opt to apply a political metaphor. Like the Judas figures that are burned during Holy Week, dressed up as Uncle Sam or some corrupt government official, they provide a catharsis for people. Here the Chupacabra takes on the form of George Bush (in the oil painting by Antonio Pazaran), the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas de Gortari (in the collage by Salvador Jiménez), multinational companies (in the painting of Patricia Acosta), and of NAFTA (Ricardo González), etc. Diverse leeches of society, represented in diverse degrees of fortune from the obvious to the proactive.

Two works are really outstanding, they are “My Chupacabras Escaped”, a digital image on fabric and decal by Miguel Cortez and “Chupacabra Gothic” by Judithe Hernández. The first one is a fresh and imaginative play on urban imagery and the physical limits of the space of the work. Slippery like the myth, out of its setting, Cortez’s Chupacabras is a decal glued to the wall that mocks the rectangular margin of the work, leaving an empty silhouette where its image should be.

The second is an allusion to “American Gothic”, a painting by Grant Wood that has attained the level of icon. His portrait of the quintessential spirit of Midwestern America has been parodied in a thousand ways. Hernández’s work, a very fine pastel (on paper), features the figure of a goat and a man dressed as a politician or Wall Street executive with his head covered by an American-like flag. The figures are united by a blood transfusion that drains the blood of the poor quadruped, while filling in the red stripes of the flag. In the background, bordered by a prodigious blue, is the immensity of the fields where immigrant workers labor (giving their life’s blood). It is in this work that the political background is most solid and of the greatest breadth: the humor, reflection, and formal resolution are united in a truly sucessful manner.

Also interesting is “San Chupa”, a mixed-media work by Juan Compean. It alludes to the tradition of religious stained-glass windows and its line quality recalls the engravings of Leopoldo Mendez.

As it has happened in other exhibitions at this museum, one would like to see the same care given to the Spanish texts that are given to the English texts. However, this group exhibition is definitely worth making the effort to see and to choose the work you like the best.

Friday, May 23, 2008

interview in Gaper's Block

Can you explain the Recycle-Your-Idea project?

It's a project that started 2 years ago and it pokes fun at the art making process; how artists come up with an idea for let's say a painting, that idea then manifests into a finished piece. The artist then repeats the same idea/ the same painting style over and over until the art no longer has the substance that it had at the begining. It now becomes a decorative pattern/product.

Is it just you, or others?

This is an individual project, but on the blog/site people can to request stickers to then post in their city, document them and then they can send me a digital image.

What was the inspiration?

I wanted to create a series or artworks that would not be limited to just one media. I think of it more like a tree branch. It started out with stickers. Once I placed several at various sites I documented them. I then traced the photos on the computer and the finished drawings became computer prints(these where shown at the Krannert Museum). After this I created a Flash animation piece for online viewing, plus others.... and so forth. Each piece influences the next one and they are independent but are still connected. So the series keeps growing.

What examples of idea-recycling come to mind when you describe your project?

You can probably compare it to the idea of re-use and recycling of actual materials like paper, plastic, glass, etc but on a conceptual level.

I mean, all art's recycled in some way, so how to differentiate between art that would fit with your project, and art in

Yeah most art concepts nowadays are recycled from the past or taken from individual experiences. The end result may be innovative such as in cases where artists use new technology. Some have started to utilize new media to create fresh new work, such as creating art for cell phones, online projects, computer programs, mp3s, video for ipods, 3D environments for Second Life, etc...

How do you choose the locations for your stickers?

It's random. Wherever I go and if I have one I place one.

What was shown at Krannert -- the pictures of the stickers as placed?

I showed 2 computer drawings taken from previous documentations. Originally the museum wanted to show and distribute the stickers, but it turned out, some university people complained and felt the university students would paste stickers all over the campus, so instead the museum made business cards.

What is the ultimate project goal?

It will keep on growing until I become sick ot it.

Part of the "Recycle Your Ideas" project is being shown at The Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, IL until July 27th in a show called Landscapes of Experience and Imagination: Explorations by Midwest Latina/o Artists ( You can see the blog at:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

micro-projector for handheld devices

I just saw this article at about a tiny projector being built into handheld devices. I had this idea about an ipod projector in 2006 and did a sketch. Check out my old post:

3M to showcase a micro-projector for handheld devices at CES

The idea of stuffing a tiny projector into a handheld device isn't a new one -- we've seen a coupledifferent takes on the idea -- but it looks like it might be hitting the mainstream soon, as 3M has announced plans to demo a half-inch wide projection unit at CES that can put up a 40-inch image. The LCoS projector is about the size of a wireless headset, according to 3M, and tops out at VGA resolution -- which seems adequate, given the QVGA resolution of most handhelds. Apparently we'll be seeing devices with the projector built in later this year, and hopefully we'll get a chance to play with a couple at CES -- you'll know as soon as we do.

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M is now providing consumer electronics manufacturers with a revolutionary advancement in the emerging field of miniature projection technology. 3M scientists developed a breakthrough ultra-compact, LED-illuminated projection engine designed for integration into virtually any personal electronic device. Roughly the size of a wireless earpiece and less than half an inch thick, the 3M mobile projection engine delivers brilliant VGA resolution images and is available today.

With the expansion of digital media now accessible by mobile devices, consumers need the convenience of larger displays. 3M mobile projection engines achieve the size, efficiency, image quality and affordability needed for consumer adoption of this promising new product category, said Mike Kelly, executive vice president, 3M Display and Graphics Business. This development continues 3Ms long history as a global leader in advanced projection display technology. What is really exciting is that this technology is available now.

When deployed in a host platform, such as a mobile phone, 3Ms technology can project a 40-inch or larger image with no-speckle and a high-fill factor that ensures superior image quality. Each engine uses an advanced liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) electronic imager in conjunction with proprietary 3M optics technology.

3M is partnering with leading consumer electronics companies that plan to launch products in early 2008. 3M Mobile Projection Technology will be shown in the Advanced Display Technologies Zone, booths 25727 and 25627, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2008.

For more information on 3M, visit

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg dies in Fla. at 82


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg's mediums knew few bounds.

One of his most famous works or "combines" was "Bed," created when he woke up in the mood to paint but had no money for a canvas. His solution was to take the quilt off his bed and use paint, toothpaste and fingernail polish for his creation. He was also a sculptor and a choreographer.

Rauschenberg died Monday of heart failure at 82, it was announced Tuesday by Jennifer Joy, his representative at PaceWildenstein gallery in New York. His use of odd and everyday articles earned him regard as a pioneer in pop art, first gaining fame in the 1950s.

"The most famous thing he said was that he worked in the gap between art and life," said John Elderfield, chief curator of painting and sculpture at New York's Museum of Modern Art. "I think what he meant by this is life was his materials as much as art was his materials."

Rauschenberg didn't mine popular culture wholesale as Andy Warhol (Campbell's Soup cans) and Roy Lichtenstein (comic books) did, but his combines — incongruous combinations of three-dimensional objects and paint — shared pop's blurring of art and objects from modern life.

He also responded to his pop colleagues and began incorporating up-to-the-minute photographed images in his works in the 1960s, including, memorably, pictures of John F. Kennedy. He even won a 1984 Grammy Award for best album package for the Talking Heads album "Speaking in Tongues."

"I'm curious," he said in 1997 in one of the few interviews he granted in later years. "It's very rewarding. I'm still discovering things every day."

Nan Rosenthal, who curated "Robert Rauschenberg: Combines," a joint exhibition by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, called Rauschenberg a "tremendously imaginative artist."

Rosenthal said she believed Rauschenberg would be best remembered for his series of all-white, all-black and all-red paintings, as well as the combines. The Met owns about 25 Rauschenberg paintings and about 75 drawings and prints.

"A lot of the time he was tremendously ebullient, a kind of irrepressible person," who was also "quite a wonderful host and cook," she said.

Rauschenberg's more than 50 years in art produced such a varied and prolific collection that it consumed both uptown and downtown locations during a 1998 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes, in his book "American Visions," called Rauschenberg "a protean genius who showed America that all of life could be open to art. ... Rauschenberg didn't give a fig for consistency, or curating his reputation; his taste was always facile, omnivorous, and hit-or-miss, yet he had a bigness of soul and a richness of temperament that recalled Walt Whitman."

Rauschenberg split his time between New York and Captiva Island in Florida, where he kept a house stocked with his and his friends' art.

"I like things that are almost souvenirs of a creation, as opposed to being an artwork," he said in a 1997 Harper's Bazaar interview, "because the process is more interesting than completing the stuff."

He studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1947. He later took his studies to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he studied under master Josef Albers (who supposedly hated his work), and alongside contemporary artists such as choreographer Merce Cunningham and musician John Cage. He also studied at the Art Students League in New York City.

Rauschenberg's first paintings in the early 1950s comprised a series of all-white and all-black surfaces underlaid with wrinkled newspaper. In later works he began making art from what others would consider junk — old soda bottles, traffic barricades, and stuffed birds and calling them "combine" paintings.

One of Rauschenberg's first and most famous combines was titled "Monogram," a 1959 work consisting of a stuffed angora goat, a tire, a police barrier, the heel of a shoe, a tennis ball, and paint.

"Initially, these were thought to be ugly and unpleasant, but as happens ... in time they are perceived as being beautiful," Elderfield said. "It's more than that these things were beautiful" but that he was using them to tell stories.

"Not in the way we are used to having stories told in narration, but more like the contents of a person's purse, you could tell the personality from the objects collected," he said.

By the mid-1950s, Rauschenberg was also designing sets and costumes for dance companies and window displays for Tiffany and Bonwit Teller.

He met Jasper Johns in 1954. He and the younger artist, both destined to become world famous, became lovers and influenced each other's work. According to the book "Lives of the Great 20th Century Artists," Rauschenberg told biographer Calvin Tomkins that "Jasper and I literally traded ideas. He would say, `I've got a terrific idea for you,' and then I'd have to find one for him."

Born Milton Rauschenberg in 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas, and raised a Christian fundamentalist, Rauschenberg wanted to be a minister but gave it up because his church banned dancing.

"I was considered slow," he once said "While my classmates were reading their textbooks, I drew in the margins."

He was drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II and knew little about art until a chance visit to an art museum where he saw his first painting at age 18. He drew portraits of his fellow sailors for them to send home.

When his time in the service was up, Rauschenberg used the GI Bill to pay his tuition at art school. He changed his name to Robert because it sounded more artistic.

In recent years he founded the organization Change Inc., which helps struggling artists pay medical bills.

"I don't ever want to go," he told Harper's Bazaar in 1997 when asked of his own death. "I don't have a sense of great reality about the next world; my feet are too ugly to wear those golden slippers. But I'm working on my fear of it. And my fear is that something interesting will happen, and I'll miss it."

Associated Press Writer Ula Ilnytzky in New York contributed to this story.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Obama and PBR

Here's an image of Obama drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Raleigh Times Bar in Raleigh, North Carolina. And supposedly... Barack tipped $18 on a $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chicago ARTEahora adds Latin side dish to art fair

I was quoted in this article.../mc

Chicago ARTEahora adds Latin side dish to art fair

By Lauren Viera | Tribune reporter

April 25, 2008

There's nothing like Chicago in the springtime: Tulips blooming on Michigan Avenue, boats casting off into the lake and, in late-April, more art events that you can shake a paintbrush at.

This year, add one more to the mix: Chicago ARTEahora. Scheduled to coincide with Artropolis—the multifaceted celebration of art-related festivals and events that descends on the city each April—ARTEahora (which means "art now") is billing itself as "The First Chicago Latin American Art Fair," which Latin art gallery owners say is an accurate claim. And a telling one.

The unofficial center of Chicago's Latin arts community is the Near South Side neighborhood of Pilsen, its semigentrified east side lined with galleries and its more rustic west side crammed with studios. But the Pilsen community has not been involved with Artropolis or its premier fair, Art Chicago.

It can't afford to, says Miguel Cortez, an artist, gallerist and longtime member of Pilsen's art community.

"[Artropolis] is a very commercial venue with huge fees that many artists living in Pilsen cannot afford," he says.

Artropolis, which begins Friday, draws an international audience of thousands to a half-dozen fairs, including the massive and mainstream Art Chicago, the indie-centric NEXT fair and the Outsider Art-oriented Intuit Show. Most featured artists in the past have been American and European, with a sprinkling of East Asian and Latino artists.

ARTEahora and its producers hope to broaden the horizons on their own terms.

"Because Latin American art has historically in Chicago had a very little voice, it is good for the general public and collectors to see more," says ARTEahora founder and co-curator Aldo Castillo, who has run his eponymous gallery in the River North neighborhood since 1993. Castillo's gallery was rejected from partaking in Art Chicago no less than nine times. That was back when Art Chicago was run by Thomas Blackman Associates, which sold to the Merchandise Mart in a last-minute financial crisis three days before the 2006 fair.

"I always respected [Blackman's] decision, but that rejection inspired me to create my own art fair," says Castillo. "[The Merchandise Mart] is very aware of that incident so they are trying to be friendly with me, and they advertised [ARTEahora] in their program despite the fact that it can be seen as competitive."

Merchandise Mart confirmed that Artropolis is including ARTEahora in its listings. A spokesperson said an all-encompassing approach is being taken to this weekend's events: Artropolis' objective is to celebrate the arts in Chicago, instead of advertising solely what's officially included in the fair.

Castillo and co-curator Thomas Monahan, who consults on Latin American artists for Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses, wanted a fair that focused on artists, not galleries. The pair handpicked work from contemporary Latin American artists ranging from Jose Luis Cuevas, who has a namesake museum in Mexico City, to Baltazar Castillo, a mixed-media artist who works out of a studio in Wicker Park.

Programs will be on tap too. Monahan will present a lecture on Chilean 20th Century artist Roberto Matta, whose work he has represented; Alexander Slato, associate director of the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) in Long Beach, Calif., will discuss collecting Latin American art; and art critic Michael Weinstein will lead a lecture on modern Cuban photography.

"This is my city, where I have lived for 21 years," Castillo says. "I came to Chicago and studied at the Art Institute, and by living here I knew what the city was missing, and I feel like this is my contribution to my home."