Tag Archives: chicago

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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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!

a day in the park with est

We’ve been having a few days of showers here in Chicago this summer. It seems to be a rather odd 3 months of summer because each time the weather heats up, the city seems to cool itself down with a series of thunderstorms and chilly nights. But today was beautiful, sunny, and clear and Esteban joined me on a bike ride through our neighborhood and then we spent the rest of the afternoon reading and having lunch in the park. I hope it stays sunny all week!

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A clear day indeed, with only the trees above us.

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The grass was so beautiful you didn’t even need a blanket to rest on!

the suburban: shana lutker/steve berrens

Today was the opening of the first summer show at The Suburban. Included in this exhibition are two artist’s from L.A., Shana Lutker and Stephen Berens. Stephen’s photographs which documented a posting for a lost dog throughout a neighborhood in Los Angeles, lined the walls of one of the exhibition spaces. He also had some of his books on display of courtyards and plazas, a trip to Italy, and more imagery similar to that of the documented dog poster. In the other gallery space Shana Lutker’s large books lay opened on a table for viewers to peruse for a single minute or all day if desired. Many of the books were part of her craigslist ad collection while a large red book seemed to be a collection of her dreams for the past 2 years all laid out as if they were individual newspaper articles.

The opening (as always) was an enjoyable social event on the lawn of Ms. Grabner and Mr. Killam’s home. The show is not to be missed and I highly encourage anyone in Chicago to try to make it out to Oak Park to see these compiled collections of books and photographs.

For those of you not familiar with the independently run artist exhibition space in Oak Park, IL I have included a bit of their statement below:
“The Suburban is an independently run artist exhibition space in Oak Park, IL. We give complete control to the artists in regards to what they choose to produce and exhibit. Thus it’s a pro artist and anti curator site. The Suburban is not driven by commercial interests. It is funded within the economy of our household. Its success is not grounded in sales, press or the conventional measures set forth by the international art apparatus, but by the individual criteria set forth by the artists and their exhibitions. In this, The Suburban is more closely aligned with the idea of studio practice than that of the site of distribution.”
-Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam

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Shana Lutker stands beside her book at The Suburban.

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Stephen Berens is photographed here beside his installation.

For more information about The Suburban please visit http://www.thesuburban.org

the renaissance society: black is, black ain’t

Today I visited the Renaissance Society of Chicago, located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago’s campus. “The Society presents art seldom seen
in the midwest, giving the public opportunities to investigate the most recent developments in contemporary art. At the same time, the museum is equally committed to fostering the development of Chicago’s own rich artistic resources”.

The current show , curated by Hamza Walker, is entitled Black Is, Black Ain’t. I was very impressed by the work included in the show from artist’s throughout the country, the show was powerful and many pieces have stuck with me. I enjoyed the works by William Pope L. particularly his cupped-flour sculptures which were scattered throughout the gallery on small make-shift shelves. The video pieces were interesting and very peculiar especially Joanna Rytel’s monologue-based performance/video work about a mixed-race relationship.

Artist’s included in the exhibition are as follows:
Terry Adkins | Edgar Arceneaux | Elizabeth Axtman | Jonathan Calm | Paul D’Amato | Deborah Grant | Todd Gray | Shannon Jackson | Thomas Johnson | Jason Lazarus | David Levinthal | Glenn Ligon | David McKenzie | Rodney McMillian | Jerome Mosley | Virginia Nimarkoh | Demetrius Oliver | Sze Lin Pang | Carl Pope | William Pope.L | Robert A. Pruitt | Randy Regier | Daniel Roth | Joanna Rytel | Andres Serrano | Hank Willis Thomas | Mickalene Thomas

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Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow, 2005
Neon, 39 x 192 inches (Courtesy of Sender Collection, courtesy of Levin Art Group)

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Jonathan Calm, Baruch Runoff #2,2008
Pigment print, 40 x 50 inches (Courtesy of the artist and Caren Golden Fine Art, New York)

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(portion of press release)
“Taking its title from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, this exhibition will explore a shift in the rhetoric of race from an earlier emphasis on inclusion to a present moment where racial identity is being simultaneously rejected and retained. The exhibition will bring together works by 26 black and non-black artists whose work together examines a moment where the cultural production of so-called ‘blackness’ is concurrent with efforts to make race socially and politically irrelevant.”

For more information about the Renaissance Society please visit http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/