Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

goodbye alex n’ clay

For those of you who often read my blog, by now you may be familiar with two very good friends of mine by the names of Alexander Ferrando and Clayton Flynn. Both young men just received their undergraduate degrees here at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be leaving the city of Chicago to pursue their graduate degrees in Fine Art in the city of Vienna. Alex has been accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna while Clay is in the process of applying to another Viennese school. With great news comes sad news because these friends of mine will be leaving Chicago in the end of July.

Last night we had a going away party for them, which eventually turned into a mega dance party extravaganza in a space located in Wicker Park. For those of you who know these two fine artists send them good wishes and say “Auf Wiedersehen” as they begin their new life abroad in Austria. Bye Friends!

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Armin, Esteban, Alex, Brendan, Natasha, Ghazal, Matt and Matthew are all enjoying their time at the goodbye party.

Choos**

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house warming for maliea

Tonight I went to my friend Maliea’s home for a house warming party that she was throwing. Maliea just recently moved into the neighborhood of Humboldt Park on the west side of Chicago. We had a blast drinking lemonade and visiting a local taqueria. We spent the evening telling stories and playing with her cats while lounging on her front porch. The only downside was out of Maliea’s control, and that is the HEAT that Chicago’s summers often bear!

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Esteban and a friend on Maliea’s porch.

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Maliea was obviously having a great time.

milwaukee art museum: gilbert n’ george

On Saturday I went on a road trip with a few friends of mine to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum. The special exhibition, Gilbert and George, consisted of approximately forty-five large-scale pictures and a selection of archival materials as well.

In addition to just seeing the show, we enjoyed the building itself designed by Santiago Calatrava and representing an image somewhat reminiscent of a large white sail boat that could potentially be made for outer space!

The Milwaukee Art Museum is just one of three museums in total to be hosting the exhibition which just traveled from San Francisco’s de Young Museum. For those of you not familiar with the work of Gilbert and George, a portion of the press release is attached below. For more info about the MAM or the exhibition alone please visit this link http://www.mam.org/gandg/.

“Gilbert & George have made art together since the 1970s to create startling and challenging images and pictures that confront the viewers with critical issues of our times. From the beginning, they wanted to communicate beyond the narrow confines of the art world, adopting the slogan “Art For All.” Almost all of the images they use are gathered within walking distance of their home in London’s East End. Yet, their pictures capture a broad human experience, encompassing an astonishing range of emotions and themes, from rural idylls to gritty images of a decaying city; from fantastical brightly colored panoramas to raw examinations of humanity stripped bare; from sex advertisements to religious fundamentalism.”

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A view of the inside of the museum.

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Fingle-Fangle, 2004
Gilbert and George

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A Barbara Hepworth sculpture was on view in their permanent collection standing elegantly before a window that looked out onto the lake.

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Justin Polera and Esteban Schimpf pose in front of the famous Mars Cheese Castle which one passes while traveling between Chicago and Milwaukee often to buy cheese curds.

the suburban: cip contreas/matthew rich

It was a beautiful Sunday and we decided to go to an opening at the Suburban in Oak Park late this afternoon. Many people showed up and there were bratwurst’s galore for visitors to enjoy. The artist’s in the show included Cip Contreras and Matthew Rich; with such a large variety of work between the two men, the show really was quite interesting.

I saw a lot of friends who have been out of town this summer which made the event even more enjoyable–some having traveled to Brazil while some were returning from a short out of town visit to Michigan. As always Michelle and Brad organized a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

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Also having a good time are Claire Pentacost and Ken Fandell, both professors at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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An installation by artist, Cip Contreras.

nueva austria: work from vienna

Last night I attended the opening of “Nueva Austria: Work From Vienna” at the Plaines Project. Curated by Alexander Ferrando and Armin Lorenz Gerold the show includes work by Anna Barfuss, Verena Dengler, Armin Lorenz Gerold, Manfred Hubmann, and Georg Petermichl, all artists from Vienna. As the press release states “The artists comprising ‘Nueva Austria’ are being shown together on the basis of the proximity of thier social position in Austria to that of the Plaines Project’s proprietors here in Chicago. As young, newly emergent artists their work is defined more by impressions, inverstigation and interpretation than by statement and purpose,”

Overall, the show was exciting with works covering a variety of media, form, and sources. I had a great time, as is the usual outcome at any opening at the Plaines Project. Following the opening we enjoyed bratwurst’s from Maxwell Street Market just down the street from the exhibition space.

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The pow wow taking place in the rear of the house once the opening was coming to a close. In the foreground Matt Brennan is seen chuckling away, while Ben and Armin converse in the background.

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An image taken outside the gallery space.

For more info about the show feel free to visit their website at http://www.myspace.com/plaineprojects

oak street beach

For some reason the summer heat has made it hard to sleep through humid nights, for that exact reason I decided to invite many of my friends out to the beach today. However, I got their a bit early and encouraged everyone else to join me. I left the house at 6:30 am with about 3 hours of restless sleep under my belt, exhausted I called a taxi to come get me and drop me off at one of my favorite beaches in the gold coast, Oak street beach. Perhaps I was missing my traditional Hawaiian summers from home, but I sure did get out to the beach by 7am. Esteban joined me and we fell asleep at Oak street beach, you can be sure the weather was much cooler there than anywhere else in the city and of course if the sun got too hot the lake was at the tip of our toes!

So the day was long, crazy, and fun. One of the highlights of the afternoon occured when a boy jumped into the lake with his pet racoon sitting on his shoulder. It was a glorious site to see indeed, a tamed racoon that was just a tad bit larger than your average tea cup terrier, but soooooo much cooler of course! The sweet racoon had been rescued by the boy and he is currently raising it, he taught it to do tricks and to eat a variety of meals from cranberries to fruit loops. I had the opportunity to not only photograph the young coon-lad, but we became friends as he placed his paw upon my own with a friendship lick of approval.

We ordered Jimmy John’s to be delivered directly to the beach, we watched people come and go. Two others joined us as the day continued on, Maliea and Ghazal who were in the area and caught the free trolley to our destination. Once they arrived we flipped through Us Weekly, enjoyed the final sunny moments, and then as a finale flipped our hair through the lake.

By the time it was 6pm we decided our bodies had endured enough sun and that getting home seemed much more appealing. It was one of the best summer days and the clouds didn’t come out once.

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Here the racoon scoops his Fruit Loops up one by one for lunch.

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Ghazal, Maliea, and Esteban chilling at the beach.

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The beach is located in the center of downtown.

ravinia: gilberto gil

Last night Esteban and I were invited by a dear friend of his, Remy LeBoeuf, to attend a concert at Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois where Remy is currently doing a residency.

Remy, a native of the bay area moved to New York at the age of 18 to play music and study with Dick Oatts, Steve Wilson, and Donny McCaslin. In 2007 he received his Bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is currently working on his Master’s there as well. This summer he was invited to attend a 2-week residency at Ravinia and will be playing alongside many of the musicians in concert throughout the next few days.

One of the musicians that we were delighted to hear was Gil Gilberto who is a singer, composer and guitar-player in the field of Brazilian popular music. The energy he exuded while performing was CRAAAZYYYY! The scene was terrific with tons of people of all ages jumping up and down as if at a rock concert, some holding their Brazilian flags while some held up a peace sign. Gil Gilberto sang a number of love songs, pop songs, and a few covers in which everyone joined in singing.

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A view of the concert from the back of the pavillion.

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Remy enjoying the performance.

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Gilberto Gil raises his fist in the air as he performs his second “encore” song.

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I enjoy the tunes being played.

Thank you Remy, we had a great time!