All posts tagged: Mural

The Aesthetics of Displacement at The Strange Fields of This City

It is rare that a show’s theme so closely mirrors the circumstances of the gallery where it is being exhibited as well as The Strange Fields of This City, curated by Greg Ruffing and features the work of  HATCH Projects Residents Alejandro Waskavich, Haerim Lee, and William Camargo,  on view until June 14th. Along with Brent Fogt’s Do Something Else, it is the last show at Chicago Artists Coalition’s space at 217 N. Carpenter before they move to their new location 2130 W. Fulton. Facing the same pressures of space and development that the show tackles, along with expanding needs, CAC is finding itself having to relocate, like many other arts organizations in Chicago. Peering into the gallery’s windows to see William Camargo’s oversized, rasquache-style advertising signs of Cultura a la Renta critiquing displacement, it is difficult to ignore the construction noises of the high rise going up across the street. Gentrification is in part a war of aesthetics. A war of the undifferentiated, the sameness of developers using profit maximizing, corner-cutting tricks to convince people …

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)

In a recent phone conversation, Olivia Gude of the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) expressed her opinion that when a site-specific piece of art needs repair, Americans take on an “either/or” mentality. The piece will either be restored or destroyed. In older areas of the world, a third alternative has been commonplace for centuries: adding something new to an older structure. Take the Basilica of St. Peter as an example. Begun by Michelangelo in the Renaissance, it was expanded and tweaked by other great architects as styles changed over time.  Recently, I have to admit I fell into the binary thinking that Gude has described. When reading the text next to The Spirit of Hyde Park mural at 57th Street and Lake Park Boulevard, I became confused.  “Restored and reinterpreted by CPAG,” it read. What did reinterpreted mean in the context of public art? Weren’t murals simply painted over or touched up over time? Taking in the wall, a mix of styles was evident. Bold, abstract patterns mingled with realistic depictions of students and protestors …

Perks of Biking it: RK Design’s 47th & Lake Park Mural Project

If you consider yourself a native of Hyde Park or any of its surrounding neighborhoods you are probably unaware of your familiarity with RK Designs.  This Chicago-based group combines the aesthetics of street art and fine art to make visually provocative graphic design, murals, paintings and more.  Evidence of this is found when passing under the Metra tunnel at 47th and Lake Park, at the northern edge of Hyde Park.  Their collaborative mural covers the wall and stairways of the south wall, giving an always-needed serving of color to anyone passing by.  Combining a range of iconic Chicago imagery, Max Sansing, Rahmaan Statik, Noah Bird “Fesup”, Eric Von Haynes, Dred 88 and Zeek Crowe come together to show the dynamics of that community across the train’s 390 feet long foundational walls.  Driving by doesn’t do it justice.  I suggest if you get a moment, walk or bike by the piece and smell the visual flowers. Perks of Biking it: RK Design’s 47th & Lake Park Mural Project from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo. Music by Tall Black …