Last week, I was back home in Chicago. It was a quick visit, I spent a lot of time in Niles, since I was mostly there to see my parents and any other family that were available.
While in town, I was able to see a few friends as well. One friend, Anne Halston, lives in the north side neighborhood of Rogers Park. She took me to see some of the street art there. The first work is a very powerful paste up installation. The work is comprised of numerous small pieces of paper pasted to the wall. Each one has the name of a black person killed by the police. As you can see from the images, there are hundreds of pieces of paper.
The second set of images simply show the mural across the street from the first work. It is part of the Rogers Park street art mural series. Because I wanted to add the visual flavor of Chicago, I included the yellow concrete pillars of the underpass. It’s a colorful moment captured from an archetypical Chicago point of view.
It’s always good to be back in Sweet Home Chicago.
“If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding the truth. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken.”
The moral contortions so many Americans make are getting more severe. It’s far beyond typical cognitive dissonance. This affliction is worst within the Evangelical community. Back in 2018, I made a series of paintings called Mastering the Art of Contradiction about this part of our contemporary culture. Four years later, it’s even more twisted.
Here is Moral Contortionists, from that series. Every day, and in so many ways, I am reminded of this painting.
I’m back. I was on vacation in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. My first real vacation in five years. I traveled with my wife Kelli, my stepdaughter Grace, and her friend Bella. We stayed in Hull, a peaceful, friendly small town on the coast. It was much needed. We had a very nice time.
Back home in Chattanooga now, and back in the studio with Remy, my puppy. I’m picking up where I left off on some new paintings while catching up on the January 6th hearings.
I sure hope these hearings have an impact. Beyond preaching to the choir. So far. I’ve been impressed with the linear presentation. I have numerous thoughts about multiple subjects pertaining to the attempted coup of 1/6/2021. At the moment, I don’t want to write those thoughts. Right now, I want to listen and be further enlightened and get back to creative work.
I was back at it for the first time since moving to Chattanooga. This time I needed to be sneaky.
The southern edge of Chattanooga city limits are along the border with Georgia. Across the border is the 14th Congressional District, where Marjorie Taylor-Greene is the representative and was up for re-election. She still won, of course, but I had to do my part.
There was no time for another poster. I adapted my poster design and created a new, second design. It’ll likely be a poster at some point.
Last year, when I was home for the holidays, I saw the remarkable Barbara Kruger exhibition “Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You,” at the Art Institute of Chicago. Barbara Kruger is one of my favorite artists, and absolutely one of my biggest artistic influences. I was so happy to see her exhibition, I bought our tickets months in advance. My wife Kelli, stepdaughter Grace and my Mom went to the exhibition with me. They were unfamiliar with her work but loved the exhibition too. All three were blown away. I can’t even describe how much this pleased me.
Surprise, I took a lot of pictures! I’ll share my favorites here in a series of photo galleries coming up next.
Yeah, I got big timed. Greg Mike covered it up with some of his work. Guess, he liked the location too. Since I live nearby and could see what was happening, I walked up to him and introduced myself when he was painting his work over mine.
Nothing wrong with Greg Mike, Greg Mike is alright. He has as much right to put his work up there as I do. However, it’s not that simple. Here is a great spot that many people used over the last few years. Now it is changed. Because he’s a known commodity, the spot is now basically his. Others artists will now be reluctant to cover it up, even though they should.
This episode is all from the unwritten rulebook of Atlanta Street Art culture. I don’t belong. It’s OK. I’ve never fit into any club anyway.
The images below are a visual report of the destruction and regeneration and further destruction of the LIES street galleries. The slow destruction of this type of work is beautiful and has amazing mixed media potential. This documentation will be used in a future mixed media artwork series.
For months, I continued adding posters in these two locations on Wylie Street on a regular basis. Then I’d sit on my patio and people watch. During daylight hours, there’s a steady flow of people here on the Atlanta Beltline biking and walking path. These locations became my LIES street galleries and I had a lot of eyes on my artwork.
I documented their destruction extensively too. I plan to be use those images in a future series of mixed media paintings. See the visual report posts for details.
Street art in a space like this will get tagged, and should get tagged. It’s a part of the public space. No one expressing themselves creatively can claim ownership of these spaces. The slow destruction of this type of work is normal. In my opinion, the weathering and tagging adds to the visual appeal of the medium overall. I think it’s beautiful and has amazing mixed media potential. Makes the creative gears in my mind turn.