All posts tagged: street art

Clown Soldier the Human Cannonball

Human Cannonball is whimsical, complex and endearingly hokey. Printmaker and street artist, “Clown Soldier” crosses traditional boundaries of formal and street community art, pushing forward the notion of what is “accepted” or coined “good art” and how those standards are set and practiced by artists, curators, art historians, enthusiasts, collectors, and all the other art players. During the interview, Clown Soldier mentions that a large inspiration for the work created comes from the ideology and execution of autonomous art practice–not from intentionally following standard styles or trends. Referencing two major art historical movements, Dada and Surrealism, it is an interesting way to draw inspiration from standard busting artists that have been “canonized” in our art tradition to create a fusion all his own. Working and living in New York, this is the first time this artist has shown a body of work in Chicago. Nicolette Caldwell: Where are you from? Clown Soldier: Originally? Or in my previous life? I really don’t know. NC: How did you get involved with making art for the street? Did …

Pawn Works Presents, Clown Soldier

It has been a week since Gabriel Specter’s show ended and Nick and Seth of Pawn Works already have prepared another entirely new show featuring a print maker and street artist who goes by the alias of “Clown Soldier.” The show is called Human Cannonball and the opening took place this past Friday, June 24th. The artist was available for an interview so be sure to keep posted next week to learn more about the artist and Pawn Works. Below you will find a short slide show with images from the installation along with featured music by local Chicago band Kmang-Kmang. Clown Soldier ‘Human Cannonball’ from Nicolette Caldwell on Vimeo. For more information about Pawn Works go to If you want to see more work by the artist the show runs for the next two weeks. You may also check out the artist’s website at To learn more about the music featured in the slide show go to Pawn Works is located at 1050 North Damen Avenue.  

On Public Art: Oliver Hild of Maxwell Colette Gallery

Chicago has an abundant history of prolific graffiti writers and street artists. Outside of their own trusted community, many of these artists do not get the chance to speak about their experiences and their love for what they do. This series focuses on giving the microphone back to the artists who create public art in Chicago and those that foster it. Through these interviews our hope is to not only archive the efforts of these artists, but also to achieve a better understanding of the art itself—including why it’s important for graffiti art and street art to continue and receive more support. Oliver Hild of Maxwell Colette Gallery is undeniably making waves in the street art community. A collector of art since his twenty-something heyday, Hild was ahead of the game as a collector of (tongue in cheek) … “urban art.” And rightfully so, because unlike other collectors who just recently jumped on the street art bandwagon looking to make a quick fortune, Hild has a deep-rooted relationship, knowledge and sincere passion for it. In …

Concrete = Canvas: Project Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is not Chicago and Chicago is not Buenos Aires. Yet these two cities are connected in a strange way by a set of bleeding heARTS. Callie Humphrey and I met during an installation of a show about street art and graffiti art back in September of 2010. Realizing that we both had similar interests, we decided to keep our elbows within reach. Last week via Skype, Callie indulged me with amazement by detailing the progress of her public art project Concrete = Canvas, which is set to launch in coming weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The C=C Kickstarter campaign ends this week and funds from the campaign will be used to supplement expenses for the first C=C project, “Project Buenos Aires: From Concret to Canvas.”  Meet Callie Humphrey, the genius creative mind behind Concrete = Canvas, “Transforming concrete jungles into vibrant urban canvas, one building, one city, at a time.” Callie, how is Buenos Aires? You have been down there for a few months now for the launch of your project Concrete = …

Mental Strikes Again

Mental 312, the artist already responsible for one large piece of street art visible from the Green Line has recently created another. The new piece adorns an abandoned three-flat near the Garfield stop. It is the same geometric style as his other recent piece (near the Green Line Indiana station), except rendered in purple instead of teal. If you find yourself in the Washington Park area, I recommend taking a closer look.

On Chicago Street Art: Community

Part I: Chicago street artist Blutt talks about his work and experiences living as a street artist in Chicago. Blutt: The name I use for my artwork is Blutt. I live in Chicago and grew up around the Midwest and just kind of based on the stuff I grew up with like the music and skateboarding and graffiti and comic books. I do mostly nowadays stuff that is studio work paintings and drawings but I also have stickers and posters that I put up on the street. That stuff is mostly prints and reproductions that are pretty cheap and I can put them out there when I am out and about doing whatever. It seems to work pretty well when I can quickly throw stuff up and people see it and recognize it and tend to like it for the most part. Sometimes a few people tear it down but I like that too. When did you decide to start creating street art? Blutt: I kind of made a concerted effort to do that probably …

Fresh South Side Street Art

As of about ten days ago, there’s something new to look at from the left side of the Green Line train when heading north from Garfield. A formerly empty wall has been transformed into a piece of teal, geometric street art. I recommend braving the cold and taking a closer look. Discover more Mental 312 here.