Initial thoughts: TDR&R opening at Maxwell Colette

I arrive a little after 7pm, with three friends, one of whom had redeemed a free zipcar for the night. Our heads are full of “golden oldies,” because that was the only radio station we could settle on.

Maxwell Colette is easy to spot from down the block and across the heavily-trafficked street; tall  bright windows glow a soft yellow. The gallery is full, but not uncomfortably so, yet.

The space is warm not just in temperature and light, but also in sound.

I feel invited.
Text and Drugs and Rock & Roll Show

In the weeks leading up to the opening, Chicagoans might have seen the Text and Drugs and Rock & Roll stickers on poles or newspaper boxes…

Text and Drugs and Rock & Roll @ MaxwellCollete gallery in Chicago

I’ve seen various events try to pull this sort of viral marketing off, but Maxwell Colette has this tactic down. Remember their GAIA show?

Even I, who had been purposely avoiding reading about local art, knew about TDR&R.

Maxwell Colette’s street ambassador for this show was Brooklyn-based street artist DAIN.

DAIN for TDRR [Chicago]

(This metal door is a popular spot for street art, see a Don’t Fret in the same location here.)

DAIN is an elderly man.

See him do an on-camera interview for Brooklynite Television here.

Elle magazine, of all places, has written about him.

DAIN for TDRR [Chicago]

DAIN’s piece at the TDR&R show was prominently displayed on the left hand side of the gallery, right next to the door.

If no one made a bid for DAIN’s piece by the end of the night, Chicago’s art scene is foolish.


It is true what Chicago Reader and Flavorpill implied in their preview blurbs; TDR&R is a very well put-together show.

I was surprised to see mentions of Weed Wolf in both publications, though. He got famous when I wasn’t looking? I don’t find his scrawl impressive, but I appreciate the attempt in the below graphic:

WEED WOLF for TDRR [Chicago]

As an Internet culture writer, I can’t help but be entertained by the smoking cats.

Goons, who is still my favorite street artist don’t let any one fool you otherwise, also contributed to the show.  His piece is unlike anything he has ever done, to date. Various pop culture references tackling the notion of self, is all I will say.

I was surprised, and happy to see Klepto Salem in the TDR&R show, as I think Salem is under-appreciated.

Klepto Salem

Left Handed Wave, who I used to call “the banana man” in my Chicago Street Art column, also made an appearance. A relatively new artist, among established greats. I can’t help but wonder at the nature of his ascent.

DAIN wasn’t the only collage artist at TDR&R; Chad Davis and Fred One Litch , who I had never heard of before, caught my eye.

Chad Davis Sneak Peak/Detail Shot #6 for TDRR [Chicago]

I get very grumpy about collage artists, as this is the only type of art I engage in, given my inability to draw or paint. So when I see work like Davis’, I think, I can do that too.

“What’s so special about Chad Davis, huh?” I ask all sassy, with an arm akimbo.

A lot, actually.

Textured, but flat. Busy, but not. I am eager to revisit Davis,’ and Litch’s work on a quiet day.

Mr. Litch? … thanks for the inspiration.

Fred Litch for TDR&R [Chicago]

I’ve been using plastic bags and faded vintage photographs for years, though. Just saying…

Another artist whom I had never heard of until tonight, was Chicago-based artist Bill Connors.

An acquaintance likened his work to decades-old concert posters.
Bill Connors for TDR&R [Chicago]

The above piece reminded me of Wizards, a film I am amazed was rated PG in 1977.

Additional photographs from the show can be viewed  on Billy Craven’s flickr account.

(I do want to come back when the space is empty. I couldn’t absorb any of  the art. I didn’t see Hebru Brantley’s work, nor various others, so this is only a partial review, at best.  I also never introduced myself to Billy Craven, or told him how much I enjoyed his show. I think I spoke to him a couple of times, but things never clicked in my head. Opening crowds and alcohol, go figure! )

5 Comments on “Initial thoughts: TDR&R opening at Maxwell Colette”

  1. hebru’s piece was upstairs near the windows. it is a large, predominantly white canvas that is presented stapled to the wall un-stretched. you’ll have to come back by to check it out. i bet you’ll notice at least a few other gems you missed in the throngs of fridays opening…

  2. Fonzo says:

    That top artist’s name is Sebastian Napoli (the futuristic and 3d glasses)- it wasn’t marked at the show

  3. Billy Craven says:

    Top of the morning! The artists name was ‘Fred One Litch’ not ‘David Litch’…and he rocks the collage! Thanks for the visit! Cheers

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