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

Read the rest of this entry »


Companion piece to March’s Top Street Art

In case you don’t already know, I write a Top 10 list on Chicago Art Magazine. Somehow the absurdity of a Top 10 list has not translated over well with the street art community, nor has my sense of humor. They’re all cry babies, or hate women. Well, maybe not all of them… :p

Here’s all the stuff I left out of Chicago Art Magazine’s “Top Street Art of March” because as the post was approaching 3000 words I  thought “f*ck that. 3,000 words? Who’s going to read 3,000 words?” It’s cool though, because here, I can display the photos and embed an awesome video –

The Graffiti News Network:  

This Billy guy is pretty rad – and I am not saying that because he stole my cadence and vibes, or because he is male.  The response to his video has been generally positive – and people understand satire easily when it is in video form. I have to wonder if all the misconceptions about my column would go away if I just made videos like his instead of “Top 10” lists. I think if Billy and I combine – him with his superior knowledge of graffiti crews together with my hated art critic character, we could make some funny videos. Ahh, a girl can dream.   Read the rest of this entry »


Art Critic cares not for Banksy, street art

The video embedded below appears to be companion footage to Exit through the Gift Shop. I pulled the quote from the footage below because I have been thinking about street art’s legitimacy in the art world, specifically the role of a street art critic –

” To me there is nothing interesting about Banksy, no…

I would never have said this 5 years ago, when there wasn’t this big thing about him. When I saw his stuff around, I thought that’s an entertaining bit of rubbish on the wall.

But now I’m supposed to take all this stuff seriously, and I don’t really know what I am supposed to say. It’s quite obvious that it isn’t really anything.

When people queue up to see a Banksy show or they’re paying hundreds and thousands of pounds at Sotheby’s, I don’t feel disparaged, or bewildered or baffled, I mean it’s a sort of social phenomenon. People suddenly get a craze… it’s a combination of accessible and weird and exotic   ”

Matthew Collings, Art Critic

note the vimeo user name


Documenting Chicago’s Street Art (and gaining recognition!)

Every month, I write a column on Chicago Art Magazine documenting (and sometimes explaining) the best street art in Chicago. Very recently, I had the honor of being named #9 on Abraham Ritchie Picks Chicago’s Best of 2010 <- read it NOW! He says nice things about me!

Abraham Ritchie is the senior editor for Chicago’s Art Slant and is an all around swell guy. I had the pleasure of speaking with him at the closing reception and panel discussion for the Sixty Inches from Center: Contemporary Graffiti exhibit, and foresee working with him in the future on a project that will remain unnamed until I get my nerves, schedule and finances in order (I am the newest freelancer for Highland Park’s Patch as of yesterday, besides Wilmette’s – woot $$$).

I try to feature a new or lesser known artist each month, as well as providing basic information for budding street art fans. Check me out, if you wish…

Top Street Art of November, December 2010

Top Street Art of October

Top Street Art Picks for the month of September

Top Street Art Picks for the month of August

Top Street Art Picks for the month of July


Veteran Street Art Defaced by Black Eyed Peas ads, Religious Intolerance

Originally published on Chicago Art Magazine here, and I thought I would repost it for some additional love. Hah!
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Some time over the weekend, the Iraq veteran street art in Lincoln Squarewas covered over. The original work was of a printed paste featuring Rodney Watson, a veteran “seeking refuge in Vancouver, Canada” who refuses to return to Iraq because of the rampant racism he saw there. Rodney Watson was covered up by a Black Eyed Peas poster promoting their new album, and by “God Bless America” lyric print-outs. Read the rest of this entry »


New street artist emerges in Chicago

Very few street artists do faces or figures, which is a shame considering “faces” get noticed more often than tags. Faces are easier to relate to than a word, no matter how powerful that one word is.  Here enters Snacki:

In February of last year, a new street artist began assailing Chicago’s public space with his scrawlGarbage bins,  the back of signs , and newspaper bins were a favorite for then Snack Attack (now Snacki?).  If you look at Snacki’s work in February, you can see he is figuring out his style and building his confidence.

By the fall of last year, Snacki came into his own and reached that level of cocky required for any good street artist. His pieces are now largersprayed, and in hard to reach places, thereby becoming prominent additions to the urban landscape.

The Snacki faces are distinctive. They come in a variety of colors and are always very tired. The bags under the eyes are large and lopsided, and combined with the words “snack attack”, you have to wonder if these are portrayals of  weary druggies or drunks with the munchies. Or if we are supposed to get philosophical with his work, is “Snack Attack” about today’s cultural gluttony?

via Chicago Art Magazine “Snacki Attacks Chicago”  (by yours truly)

Whenever I take the Brown or Red Lines, I check the status of his faces religiously.  Some of his work is still up, but I don’t want to give away their location and ruin the fun of finding them yourselves.

edit: it has been revealed to me that Snacki has been around much longer than originally thought, perhaps 3 years now, though there is no record of his work on the internet until last year. I personally have never seen his stuff until last year. You can read an “interview” with Snacki, from last spring, here.


Orbit's new viral ad campaign features Chicago street artist 'Goons'

Orbit’s new viral ad ( which debuted last month) features  local street artist ‘Goons’:

Stemming from a line of generally well-received “Dirty Mouth? Clean it up!” TV commercials for Orbit, Wrigley has embraced artistic simplicity and quaint design for its latest viral video experiment. The stop-motion, 90 second spot includes no CG or rendering – all footage was captured with still cameras by hand to emphasize the artist’s homemade art style.

via Adland

[youtubevid id=”Mx_mpuhyYts”]

A New York Times piece states “if there is a positive response to the video, more could be produced”.  Well, the youtube video has over 1 million hits and the comments have been fairly positive, the most recent coming from daothaweaponx20:

wooow, id never thought i would see this a commerical on youtube that people like!? LOGIC ERROR any way im chewing some orbit right now         -____-  5/5

All good news for ‘Goons’, who has been silent on the matter.  Read my interview with him here.