Jolene Lai’s “A Beautiful Haunting” Opens September 14th.

A Beautiful Haunting
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14 from 6-9PM

“I especially enjoy exploring the neighborhood I live in during late hours. There is something enigmatic about seeing houses lit up, illuminated against the stark darkness that envelops them at this hour. It was on one of those sleepless nights that I was out exploring and capturing the beauty of the array of homes that came alive and lured me with their inviting lights, that I stumbled upon an unexplored street that was just around the corner. I remembered the air just beginning to build up a cloud of misty fog that was thick with the intense pungence of jasmine.

The seemingly long and unending street had no name. It was all at once foreign with rows of strange looking houses on either side, yet familiar because several of them I was certain existed on some other streets I had walked down before. There was even a bonsai tree I came across that was distinct in shape, and for which I was sure belonged to apartment 769 on Oak Street. The further I walked, the more surreal it became. It was as if someone had picked up the houses I have come to know and appreciate over time, and planted them between others that were alien to me.

The fog dissipated by the time I got to the end of the lonesome street. I proceeded to turn around the corner and left the street with no name, never once turning my head back. I was filled with a deep sense of comfort and relief as each and every shrub, tree and house I passed were once more familiar and in place again. I continued my night observations, but never did cross paths with that peculiar street again.

A Beautiful Haunting, is a new collection of artwork that is inspired by this extraordinary encounter from many years ago. I want to construct a plane where what is relatable and comforting to us, comes to merge with emotions of unfamiliarity and unsettlement. The collection largely draws influences from popular film culture and children fiction books that I have grown up watching, reading and have come to love. Naming a few that I have referenced are films such as Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the original TV series The Twilight Zone and novels like Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. I particularly wanted to focus on extracting interesting key characters and elements from each story that many have come to recognize as household names, and challenge myself to reiterate them by misplacing them in urban landscapes and comfortable nooks that I have handpicked from actual documentations of my explorations of the neighborhoods I have visited.

The collection will consist of a body of sixteen oil paintings and intimate drawings, as well as a large scale paper installation, and is an invitation to everyone from all walks of life that appreciates the little discoveries of something peculiar in the normal ordinary everyday.” – Jolene Lai

Am I dreaming, walking in my sleep
I just can’t drop this feeling underneath my feet
These London streets are moving, rising up and meeting me
You know I see our faces eyes.
I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating
 Daily life feels  like a constant dream
I keep on tripping out, eyy, why am I such a freak?
I don’t know why that painting’s staring back at me
I swear, I think its eyes just moved.
I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating 
Baby, I’m scared to drink the water, baby, I think you drank the water
A hallucination is a perception, in the absence of external stimulus That has qualities of real perception, hallucinations are vivid, substantial And are perceived to be located in external objective space.
I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating, I’m hallucinating

  – Elohim “Hallucinating”



Mwanel Pierre-Louis’s “Alchemy” Opens September 14th.

MWANEL PIERRE-LOUIS
Alchemy  
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14 from 6-9PM

“In able to grow, we all must shed off our layers”. 

 “This show, Alchemy, conveys the energies and conversation between the people and I. Working thru the conversations, peels back the layers through color and abstraction. These scenarios give duality and emotions throughout each piece. There’s a vast vocabulary with dense and airy contrast by it compositions and space. I’m also using Basic Alchemy to cover most of the scenarios. These are everyday people that are willing to shed off their daily stories to me and allow me to convey that through painting.” – Mwanel Pierre-Louis 

New Works by Huntz Liu showing September 14th

HUNTZ LIU 
New Works
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14 from 6-9PM

Los Angeles-based artist Huntz Liu works with paper to create these beautiful, multi-layered paper collages. By layering colorful paper and creating geometric cut-outs with a straight edge and knife, he’s able to play with literal and perceived depth. We’ve been showcasing his work in our group shows for the past year and we’re excited to be able to exhibit a larger body of work from this artist on the rise. Looking forward to our big show with him next spring and this new body of work will serve as a great preview of what’s to come. 

“These compositions are comprised of shapes that sit on different planes, creating literal depth, while the composition itself creates a perceived depth,” states Liu… “It is this intersection of the literal and perceived that informs the work; where the absence of material reveal form and the casting of shadow create the line.”

‘LAX / ORD II’ at Vertical Gallery curated by Thinkspace

Vertical Gallery presents ‘LAX / ORD II’, curated by Thinkspace. The exhibition will feature 100 artists, and will take place September 7 – 28, 2019. The opening reception is Saturday, September 7th, 6-9pm.

After the phenomenal success of LAX / ORD in September 2016, Vertical and Thinkspace immediately discussed collaborating again. “LAX / ORD II” will have more artists than the first edition, in what will be the largest collection of artists from the New Contemporary Movement under one roof to date in the Windy City.

All the artists have been asked to work within the same space confines of 12×12 inches (30×30 cm) and left to their own devices from there. This collection helps to showcase just how vast and varied the Movement is, from portrait based works to the more fantastical, from landscapes to design based abstract works… ‘LAX / ORD II’ promises to bring your Instagram feed to life and expose you to your new favorite artist.

The exhibition will also include more of a taste of the local Chicago art scene. JC Rivera will have a site-specific mural on the back wall of the gallery to help accent the group show that will be installed on the gallery’s adjacent side walls. On top of that, there will be a new print edition from Kayla Mahaffey that will be available exclusively for sale to those attending the opening reception. Get ready for Thinkspace’s big return!

Artists include: 
ABCNT
Abigail Goldman
Adam Caldwell
Ador
Alex Garant
Alex Yanes
Alexandra Manukyan
Alvaro Naddeo
Anthony Solano
Baldur Helgason
Benjamin Garcia
Brian Mashburn
Bryan Valenzuela
Buff Monster
Caratoes
Carlos Ramirez
CASE
Casey Weldon
Charlie Edmiston
Chase Mullen
Chloe Becky
Clare Toms
Collin Van Der Sluijs
Craig ’Skibs’ Barker
Crash One
Cristian Blanxer
Daniel Bildodeau
David Cooley
Derek Gores
Drew Young
Eduardo F. Angel
Eelus
Egg Fiasco
Erica Rose Levine
Ermsy
Fafi
Fernando Chamarelli
Fumi Nakamura
Goopmassta
Hanna Lee Joshi
Helen Bur
Hilda Palafox (aka Poni)
Huntz Liu
JC Rivera
Jacque Fragua
Joseph Renda Jr.
Joram Roukes
Kaili Smith
Kayla Mahaffey 
Kelly Vivanco
Kelsey Beckett
Kobusher
Koz Dos
Kyle Bryant
Lauren YS
Leon Keer
Linsey Levendall
Lisa King
Lonac
Louis Masai
Luke Chueh
Mando Marie
Marie-Claude Marquis
Martine Johanna
Max Sansing
Meggs
Nicola Caredda
Nomad Clan
Nosego
Nuno Viegas
Oak Oak
Paola Delfin
The Perez Bros
PREF
Rachel Strum
Ricky Watts
Roos van der Vliet
Ryan Malley
Samuel Rodriguez
Sean Chao
Sepe
Seth Armstrong
Sickid
Spenser Little
Stephanie Buer
Stikman
Super A
Superdeux
Telmo Miel
Terry Arena
TMRWLND
Troy Lovegates
Wiley Wallace
Woes 
Wooden Wave
Yok & Sheryo
Yosuke Ueno
Yusei Abe
Zezão

‘LAX / ORD II’, Curated by Thinkspace
September 7 – 28, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7 from 6-9PM

Taking Place At:
Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60622

“LAX / MSY” at Red Truck Gallery

Thank you to all that came through Red Truck Gallery this past Saturday to support the opening celebration of our big “LAX / MSY” group exhibition we curated for the beautiful people of New Orleans to enjoy!

Over 100 works will be on view through August 30, don’t miss your chance to check them out in person if you find yourself in the French Quarter this month. Many thanks again to the entire Red Truck crew for a fun-filled week in NOLA!