Portrait of a Gallery: Sofa King / Newcity Newspaper

The phrase “sofa king” calls to mind that ubiquitous image of Homer Simpson, splayed out on his poop-brown living-room couch. It’s a Sunday afternoon in Springfield, of any state and town in the USA, and the pear-shaped Homer is clad only in white briefs; he balances a half-empty Duff beer on his belly while he […]

Review: HOMO RIOT/Bert Green Fine Art / Newcity Newspaper

Anonymous Los Angeles-based street artist HOMO RIOT got on a plane and started roaming the streets of Chicago, pasting stickers of two bearded, bearish men with masks over their eyes kissing onto newspaper stands and streetlight poles everywhere. I came across one in my not-so-radical gay neighborhood Andersonville, took a photo of it with my […]

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 […]

Review: Steve McQueen at Art Institute of Chicago / Newcity Newspaper

RECOMMENDED As a child growing up in London, Steve McQueen—not the deceased film star, but the contemporary film artist—says that seeing the 1981 Irish hunger strike on television was one of those “impressionable moments,” the kind that carries with you into adulthood. In 2008, seventeen years after that initial haunting, he released his first feature-length […]

Eye Exam: Butter Me Up, Mister Obama / Newcity Newspaper

In the Midwestern land of milk and honey stands a 600-pound cow made of butter. “Delicious” isn’t the best word to describe the manufactured butter beast, but it is a spectacle that keeps visitors returning to the annual Iowa State Fair year after year. A sculptor is chosen each year to meticulously carve hundreds of […]

Eye Exam: What Chicago Can Learn from Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize / Newcity Newspaper

Chicago could learn a few things from ArtPrize, the annual art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, open to artists from around the globe. It used to be that trade-fair style art fairs and biennials churned the money and the buzz. But in 2009 Rick DeVos, the grandson of Amway founder Rich DeVos, found a way […]

Four Selections from the Top 50 Chicago Artists: Jeanne Dunning, Dawoud Bey, Doug Ischar & Aay Preston-Myint / Newcity Newspaper

Writer Alicia Eler profiles Chicago artists Dawoud Bey, Jeanne Dunning, Aay Preston-Myint and Doug Ischar for the top 50 list. Number 8: Dawoud Bey One of Dawoud Bey’s earliest photographic memories is a book called “The Movement,” which his family brought home after a James Baldwin speech. “There were photographs of black people being lynched […]

Eye Exam: A Loaded Question / Newcity Newspaper

Taxidermy is big business—and high art. A March 6 New York Times article reported taxidermy sightings at this year’s Armory Art Fair, including Carolyn Salas and Adam Parker Smith’s buckhead whose abnormally huge antlers twist into the air like overgrown tree branches. This month’s Modern Painters devotes its cover to taxidermy: A blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman […]

Eye Exam: Chicago in Miami / Newcity Newspaper

Art Fairing in a new economy, Chicago blows through the 2008 Miami art fairs Overall murmurs of low attendance aside, Art Basel Miami Beach reported more registered collectors and cultural institutions than any previous year. The Miami Herald said that almost half of the galleries at Art Basel saw drops in sales, however, and after […]

News: Day Four, Miami Art Fairs: As the image moves / Newcity Newspaper

Problems in video art curation, evolving technologies and copyright laws Omer Fast, “Looking Pretty for God (after G.W.),” 2008 It’s still hard to justify the expenses of technology—and the necessary viewer attention—needed for displaying video art, especially at fairs where each tiny booth must compete with thousands of others. Most galleries don’t want to take […]