All posts tagged: Chicago Urban Art Society

GAIA in Chicago with a Cuban Madonna, Michaelangelo, Masks

Street Artist Gaia visited Chicago last week to hit some walls in his grandly fulsome style with imaginative remixing of classics. Here’s a guy who is perfectly badass about handily switching symbols, metaphors, cultures, belief systems, history, art history. The results are perplexing if you think too hard about it, thrilling if you are willing to detach the forms from their original contexts and appreciate the new associations that their juxtapositions can present.

Hosted by the fellas at Pawn Works Gallery and shot by talented photographer Brock Brake, Gaia created his new pieces as part of their ongoing project “Art in Public Places” in the Pilsen neighborhood and in Chicago’s West Town.

Gaia at Nini’s Cuban Deli in Chicago’s West Town. (photo © Brock Brake)

First off is the piece with African masks and a Cuban female figure that references the historical ties of the two regions. “Thanks to the lovely people at Nini’s Cuban Deli,” says Pawn Works Nick Marzullo of this place tucked into Chicago’s West Town.  Gaia says the mural depicts the rich alloy that is Santeria. In it the Catholic twin saints Damian and Cosmas flank the African Ibeji masks.

“These are icons which were imported by the Spanish through Catholicism. African slaves sit underneath a woman performing a ceremony as Oshun, an Oshira of love and the river,” Gaia explains on his Flickr page.

Gaia at Nini’s Cuban Deli in Chicago’s West Town. (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia at Nini’s Cuban Deli in Chicago’s West Town. (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia at Nini’s Cuban Deli in Chicago’s West Town. (photo © Brock Brake)


Following are images of a considerably longer mural that the Street Artist did while in the Chicago. In a practice that is often his case, this mural is also site-specific. Reflecting the neighborhood of Pilsen, it’s meant as a visual representation of two other cultures merging that have successively defined it. Gaia says that he is exploring the notion of the word “immigrant”.

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)

“It is about the confluence of Polish and Mexican culture, says Gaia, “I just used Michaelangelo figures from the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement scene primarily because both cultures share Catholicism – and because the bodies are so dynamic.” That explains why some of the figures looks so Michaelangelic  – but with animal heads replacing the original figures human/god-like ones.

Gaia did this one in coordination with Pawn Works, the Chicago Urban Art Society and the office of Alderman Danny Solis.

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)

Gaia in the Pilsen Neighborhood with The Chicago Urban Art Society and Alderman Danny Solis (photo © Brock Brake)


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Fun Friday 05.13.11



This weekend is a perfect storm of shows that are opening on the East, West and points in between.

Up Close And Personal: RJ Curates Street Artists Into an Upper West Side Apartment (NYC)

In the intimacy of a private residence in the Manhattan suburbs of UWS, RJ Rushmore of Vandalog fame along with Keith Schweitzer and Mike Glatzer of newly minted M.A.N.Y. have mounted a fresh new open house show just off Broadway. An exquisitely curated show with marquee names and a few newbies the selection is solid in quality and unusual in it’s scale.


Troy Lovegates aka Other (image courtesy of the curators)

Participating artists include:
Aiko, Chris Stain, Clown Soldier, Don Leicht, Edible Genius, Elbowtoe, Gaia, How & Nosm, Jessica Angel, John Fekner, Know Hope, Logan Hicks, Mike Ballard, OverUnder, R. Robot, Radical, Retna, Skewville, Tristan Eaton, Troy Lovegates aka Other and White Cocoa.

Aiko’s cans are on proudly on display at the bachelor pad, and that’s not all (image courtesy of the curators)

Dates: May 12th– 15th, 2011
May 12th, 7 – 9pm
May 13th, 7 – 9pm
May 14th, noon – 9pm
May 15th, noon – 7pm
Note: Due to the limited exhibition space, people may be admitted in block times every half-hour.
Location: Apartment on the Upper West Side (217 West 106th Street, Apartment 1A, New York, NY 10025) – Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues.
Cost for entrance: Free

Go to Hellbent and John Breiner Tonight in Brooklyn (NYC)

Mighty Tanka is presenting a show with two Brooklyn based artists: Hellbent and John Breiner.
Mr. Hellbent says of the show: “The best part of making a show like this is to finally see it up on the wall and the way that everything interacts. I have been thinking of these pieces as parts of a quilt, different fabrics being stitched together. The different colors, floral stencils, animals, and jaw bones melding together and playing off one another, even down to the different depths and sizes of panels, but until it was hung they were just pieces, not yet a whole. Its given me an opportunity to show the different elements that i am working with and how they have grown out of one another and to display all the different carvings and stencils patterns together, where on the street they are separated in different locations.”

To learn more about “Smiled Distress” at Mighty Tanaka tonight please click on the link below:

Matt Siren and My Plastic Heart present “Ghost in the Machine” (NYC)

25 spirits in the material world have made tributes to Street Artist Matt Siren’s Ghost Girl character for this show on the Lower East Side tonight. The custom toy show transforms the character that appears in doorways around New York, each putting its own unique spin on his character.


The show includes work from 64Colors, Royce Bannon, Steve Chanks, Chauskoskis, DarkCloud, Deeker, Gril One, J*RYU, Jester, Keely, Abe Lincoln Jr., Map-Map, Marka27, Brent Nolasco, Lou Pimentel, Reactorss, Marc Reusser, Todd Robertson, Robots Will Kill, Chris Ryniak, Matt Siren, Scott Tolleson, Julie West, Wheelbarrow, Wrona

Click on the link below to learn more about this show:

210 Forsyth St   New York NY 10002 | 646 290 6866
Ghost in the Machine
May 13th 2011 – June 12th 2011

Chicago Street Art Show Tonight (CHI)

Tonight the book “Chicago Street Art” is being released at the the Chicago Urban Art Society  in conjunction with a show titled “The Chicago Street Art Show”


Brooklyn’s AD HOC has a New Puppy in Los Angeles (LA)


On the West Coast the dynamic duo and husband and wife Garrison and Allison Buxton have curated a group show “I have a dream, I have a nightmare: Friday the 13th” at The New Puppy Gallery opening this Friaday from 7:00 to 11:00 pm

Artists include: Alison Buxton, Beau Stanton, Bill Fick, Broken Crow, Bunnie Reiss, Chor Boogie, Chris Stain, CRASH, Dabs & Myla, Daryll Peirce, David Loewenstein, Don Leicht, Ezra Li Eismont, Garrison Buxton, Hellbent, Joe Iurato, John Breiner, John Carr, John Fekner, Jordan Seiler, Know Hope, Lady Pink, Michael De Feo, Mikal Hameed, Paul Booth, Peat Wollaeger, Ray Cross, Rex Dingler, ROA, Robert Steel, Sean Starwars, TheDirtyFabulous, & Thundercut.

Ad Hoc Art –

New Puppy LA –

WHERE: 2808 Elm Street, Los Angeles, California 90065

English Kills Group Show Saturday, “The Mother Ship” (NYC)

Chris Harding, owner and ringmaster of the Bushwick Brooklyn-based space station English Kills brings out his strong stable of artists for this group show aptly titled “The Mother Ship” opening this Saturday at 7:00 pm. It’s not necessarily Street Art – but this is a hotbed of new ideas so it is always worth your trip.


Participating artists include:

Brent Owens, Andy Piedilato, Vilaykorn Sayaphet, Jim Herbert, David Pacheco, Hiroshi Shafer, Gyles Thompson, Sarah H. Paulson, Holly Faurot, Tescia Seufferlein, Peter Dobill, Steve Harding, Judith Supine, Lenny Reibstein, Andrew Ohanesian, Jason Peters, Don Pablo Pedro, Steven Thompson, Andrew Hurst and Rob Andrews.

English Kills is located at:

114 Forrest St. Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 366-7323

Specter is a “Repeat Offender” 5/14 at Pawn Works in Chicago (CHI)

Brooklyn based artist Gabriel Specter’s solo show “Repeat Offender” opens this Saturday at the Pawn Works Gallery.


Opening Reception Saturday, May 14, 2011/ 6-10pm

1050 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622

Ph: 312.841.3986

London Police in Denver, “Amsterydynasty”

In Denver Colorado Black Book Gallery brings back the glamour of the 80’s with The London Police and Handiedan in a show titled “Amsterydynasty”


Opening reception May 14th at 7pm

Click here to learn more about this show

Olek Crochets for a Bicycle in Poland

ROA in San Francisco

Women’s Faces in Art

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art by Philip Scott Johnson.

MoCA Art in the Streets. Wisk, Ser, Chubbs and Prime destroy a wall.

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