Monday, March 5, 2012

Western Avenue Series

Mile 18: Armitage to Diversey
This painting is a part of my Western Avenue Series, through which I'll be making 24 watercolor paintings, one to document each mile of Western Avenue, in Chicago.  I started this project because while it is not considered to be among the most “beautiful” of Chicago’s streets, Western Avenue is a perfect place to document the humanness of Chicago, the positive and the negative. In the words of Stuart Dybek, "Western, with apologies to State Street, is a great street,  Unlike State, it is a street that goes to the interior, the heart of the city, as it glides and glows through a United Nations of neighborhoods."  Check back next Monday to see a post about the next mile of Western.

The subject of this painting is Revolution Tattoo & Art Gallery.  Revolution caught my eye because it is both elegantly detailed, with checker-board brickwork and colorfully adorned by intricate window signage.  Not only that, I was intrigued by the fact that it is both a tattoo shop and an art gallery.  Revolution is the brainchild of Cheri Basak and Omar Gutierrez. According to their website, "They wanted to provide an ever-changing, creative environment for themselves and more importantly, their clients. Most of the artwork shown and sold here is illustrative, usually low-brow, religious, sexual, sometimes controversial, and for obvious reasons, tattoo related."  The gallery has been in operation since 2002, featuring many local fine artists and tattoo artists.

I love the idea of increasing the accessibility of art, by showing the work of artists in unexpected places, like tattoo shops. 

What is the most interesting formal or informal "gallery" space you know?
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