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Posted inArt

A Wild Forest of Queer Aesthetics

Curator Danny Orendorff’s 19-artist exhibition All Good Things Become Wild and Free at Carthage College’s H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a textually rich, difficult-to-describe arrangement. It is a forest plucked from the sewage system of Candyland-meets-Edward-Gorey’s-subconscious.

Posted inArt

Surreal Sculptures Remixing Nature Provoke Environmentalist Concerns

CHICAGO, Illinois — Walking down an urban Chicago street on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I noticed a gathering of greenery nestled in the crack of a sidewalk jutting up against a cement wall. These small moments of nature poking through the urban landscape reveal themselves when we are not paying attention to anything particular, but rather reveling in what is alive around us. It is in these moments that Chicago-based artist Jenny Kendler’s work situates itself, wrapping around the mind like a vine crawling up the exterior of a 100-year-old brick building.

Posted inArt

There’s an Emoji for That

CHICAGO — Instead of saying to yourself, “There’s an app for that,” repeat after me: “There’s an emoji for that.” In our technology-inundated world of constantly being glued to the glowing screens of our iPhones and Androids, more apps are not the answer to our first-world problems. What we need is more communication. What we need, in other words, is more emoji.

Posted inArt

Artists Ask What It Means to Like, Share, Follow

In an ideal social media universe, Facebook users would feel comfortable enough to openly tell all of their friends whether or not they’re organ donors, what they’re up to this weekend, and if they are in a relationship, single, or looking. There would be no Facebook stalkers or strange friend requests. Everything really would be about trust. Social networks are not utopic spaces, however; they are digital microcosms of our real world, albeit with the “protection” of a screen. In the exhibition Like. Share. Follow. at Columbia College’s Hokin Gallery, Chicago artists Kevin Serna, James T. Green, Ethan Aaro Jones, Evan Baden, and Josh Billions explore the impact of instant communication via socially networked spaces on our lives today.

Posted inArt

A Designer Reimagines Contemporary Office Space

CHICAGO — Given that most of us labor in virtual space these days and our work requires little more than a desk, a computer, and a keyboard to get done, why do we stick to such outmoded concepts as cubicles and cafeterias? A current exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Outdoor Office: Jonathan Olivares Design Research, imagines how the office of the future might look.

Posted inNews

A Ukrainian Catholic Church Declares Taras Polataiko’s Sleeping Beauty Project “Lesbian Propaganda”

CHICAGO — Fairytales are make-believe until a country’s Catholic Church decides to protest them.

Ukranian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko’s experimental performance artwork “Sleeping Beauty,” a modern-day retelling of the titular fairytale restaged at the National Museum of Art Ukraine from August 22 to September 9, has been decreed “lesbian propaganda” by the Kiev Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate Church.

Posted inArt

Artists Point the Way Toward a New Queer Aesthetic (NSFW)

CHICAGO — I’d cruise slick Chicago boy bodies at the infamous bathhouse Steamworks if I were a cisboy, or at least marginally passable as an effeminate dude. Suffice it to say that my gender isn’t welcome amidst the mist of those showers. My desire for dick instead led me to The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sullivan Galleries. Curated by SAIC faculty member Oli Rodriguez in collaboration with SAIC undergraduates and recent alumni, the exhibition spans nearly four white-cube gallery spaces and encompasses work by more than 50 artists.

Posted inArt

Expo Marks the Beginning of Chicago’s New Art Identity in Post-Mayor Daley Era

CHICAGO — The excitement and buzz around Expo Chicago, the Windy City’s resurgence into the international art world, felt deafening. Practically every artist in the city who knew how to handle art was in some way involved with the fair. Newcity newspaper, the city’s #1 alt-weekly, published “Chicago top 50 artists,” a timely and simultaneously ballsy list explaining the who’s who of Chicago.

Posted inArt

Did Lady Gaga Rip Off Artist Taras Polataiko?

Lady Gaga hosted the last big party of fashion week on September 14 by creating “Sleeping With Gaga,” a performance that has uncomfortable similarities with Canadian-Ukranian artist Taras Polataiko’s recent Sleeping Beauty. After drawing a lot of international press and attention, his modern-day fairytale closed at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev on September 9, five days before her one-night-only performance took place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

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