Thursday, July 22, 2010

Open Books - Revelry

If you haven't visited Open Books yet, you should. Being a used bookstore fanatic, I was jumping for joy when I heard one was opening down the street from the gallery this past year. Then when I found out it was a nonprofit to promote literacy, I knew my compulsive book-buying was going to enter a whole new dimension. Meghan, our Education Director, has been working on collaborative workshops with them and has nothing but praise for the organization. From the Open Books website:

"Open Books is an award-winning nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond."
They have an incredible store with 50,000 books to choose from (but I've heard they're processing more than 350,000) with very affordable options in any genre you can imagine.

Last night I attended one of their volunteer orientations and was impressed by the turnout. The bookstore itself is staffed almost solely by these volunteers. Click here to get a list of ways you can get involved including story time, school visits, book processing, tutoring, etc.

I'm pretty excited about their upcoming event - The Revelry 2010. Here is the brochure:

Click the image for more details

Our Jordan Eagles opening falls on the same day but that runs from 5-8 pm so there's plenty of time to fit both in the night. Your $100 will go to a great cause and you'll get a fun night of drinks and entertainment to boot!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jordan Eagles - "Blood Artist"

Writer/comedian Lou Perez wrote an article for Beyond Race Magazine about artist Jordan Eagles and posted it on his blog this week. Eagles is an artist we will be exhibiting in November alongside new photographic work from Dylan Vitone. We decided to exhibit these artists during November to coincide with the Chicago Humanities Festival, whose theme this year is "Body".

Jordan Eagles is a very interesting artist considering his choice of medium. He creates his beautiful, vibrant works with a mixture of animal blood and resin. Lou Perez posted a fascinating excerpt that didn't make the article:

Eagles asked that I keep the resin he uses to preserve the blood a secret. It’s taken him years to find the perfect one. Fearing my loose lips, I didn’t even venture to the corner of the basement where dozens of containers of resin were upside-down, draining into buckets.

Another secret I’m going to keep is how Eagles manages to get black “aged blood” without the horrible stench. He has horror stories of working with old blood, where the entire studio would reek of it. “If you were down here, you’d throw up,” he said. A brownie tin of dry black blood—months’ worth of layering—sits scentless on the table. It actually looks like a slab of uncut brownies.

We are eager to get these works in the gallery to see them in person. Below is a sampling from his series New Blood:

UR21, Blood preserved on plexiglass, UV resin, 48"x48"x3"

TSV+TSV1, Blood, copper preserved on plexiglass, UV & white resin, 36" x 72" x 3"

The exhibit opens on November 5, 2010 with a reception from 5-8pm and runs through January 1, 2011. This will be Jordan Eagles' first exhibit with the gallery and Dylan Vitone's second. Vitone will be exhibiting work from his new series set in Miami.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Amanda Friedman, Opening July 23

We just got in Amanda Friedman's work and it's already off to the framers. Her second solo show with us opens on July 23rd. It will be a blend of her Night Landscape series along with her portraiture and architectural photographic works pulled from her work as a professional photographer. Working with clients such as Forbes, GQ, Newsweek, Stella, and Time Out Chicago, Freidman takes full advantage of her hectic travel schedule to shoot in a variety of locations for her private artwork. You may have even seen her recently published photos in Time Out Chicago of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, aka, She & Him. Friedman said of the job, "I only had 15 minutes to shoot as they had to get to Coachella to perform. It was a bit rushed but I’m happy with the results." She has every reason to be. Check this outtake of Deschanel.

Amanda Friedman, Zooey Deschanel, shot for Time Out Chicago, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming soon: Miss Aniela

The work of one of our photographers, Miss Aniela, arrived at the gallery today. We are proud to be the American premier show for London based Miss Aniela. She will be exhibiting with California photographer Amanda Friedman. This will be Friedman's second solo show with the gallery and the first in our main space.

The exhibit opens on July 23rd and runs through September 4, 2010. An opening reception will be held on Friday, July 23 from 5-8pm. Below are a few examples of Miss Aniela's photography:

Miss Aniela, An impromptu performance, 2008

Miss Aniela, The smothering, 2008

Miss Aniela, About Time too!, 2006

Our press release on her work:

This is the first American gallery show for the artist known as Miss Aniela. Born Natalie Dybisz, the artist adopted the alter ego of Miss Aniela (taken from her middle name), as a way to distance her personal identity from the one she explores in her self-portraiture. Aniela first gained notoriety in 2007 when she started, as an untrained photographer, to take and then load her self-portraits onto the photo-sharing site Flickr. Within a year she had over one million hits and had earned a reputation as an inventive, playful and sometimes-brooding young artist. One of her works even graced the cover of the 2009 May/June issue of American Photo with a feature article on so-called “Flickr Superstars.” Aniela is also outspoken on her blog about the method of her work, which is often times manipulated in PhotoShop. Aniela is sometimes attacked for appearing “pretty” in her work (including by world renown photographer Martin Parr who posted just such a comment on her blog) and thus, as the criticism goes, not being concerned with any deep or formal conceptual considerations. On the contrary, Aniela has exhaustively and articulately outlined her point of view on her personal blog, which includes musings on feminist theory, issues of artistic craft, and thoughts on artistic intention vs. viewer bias. Aniela has also engaged audiences at numerous workshops and teaching events, including Photocamp at the National Media Museum in Bradford, England and at the Microsoft Pro Photo Summit in Seattle, with plans to expand her workshops in London later this year. This show will feature works from several bodies of work, including her Self-Gazing series of straight portraiture and her Multiplicity series, which features multiple iterations of the artists within the same image.