Portrait of the Artist: Ian J. Whitmore / Newcity Newspaper

Artist Ian J. Whitmore knows “nowhere” quite well. Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he also completed his undergraduate degree, and then moving to Bloomington, Indiana for an MFA in photography, the Midwesterner can quickly spot the public, commercial landscape of malls, industrial parks and corporate offices that feel eerily familiar yet completely void of meaning. In his solo exhibition, “Nowhere” at Johalla Projects, he explores the ubiquitous nature of those spaces emptied of meaning. His solo exhibition coincides with the unveiling of his photographs at the Damen Blue Line stop in Chicago’s Wicker Park area, which in and of itself is a “nowhere” space—a portal that people move through on a regular basis, yet forget even exists outside of the utilitarian function it serves.

Taking the name of this project from two books by James Howard Kunstler—”The Geography of Nowhere” and “Home from Nowhere”—Whitmore uses these concepts as the premise of his everyman, everyday explorations. His work has tinges of Chris Ware’s sullenness as seen through the urban landscape and sprawl, yet Whitmore attempts to extrapolate something more from this modern-day American cultural production. “The premise of this project is, I’m not a designer or an architect, I’m just someone who has to live with this shit, and it’s not right,” says Whitmore.

Read the full story on Newcity Art: http://art.newcity.com/2012/11/06/portrait-of-the-artist-ian-j-whitmore/

Download the print-version here: IanWhitmore_NewcityArtistProfile