Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present “Mythical Creatures,” the first-ever U.S. showing of Alex Face and MUEBON, two of Asia’s most acclaimed and incisive street artists.
“Mythical Creatures,” which runs from August 10-31, 2019, spotlights all-new works from Alex Face and MUEBON, both featured within the famed Souled Out Studios collective of artists. Alex Face and MUEBON will attend the “Mythical Creatures” opening reception, taking place at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location from 6:00-9:00 pm on Saturday, Aug. 10.
“Alex Face and MUEBON are going to introduce people to a different style of street art than they’ve seen before,” said Patrick Hull, Vertical Gallery owner and founder. “These are two of the biggest Asian street artists — both are character-based, and there’s deep meaning in the messages they’re getting across, so pairing them is a natural fit. We’re thrilled to host their U.S. debut exhibition.”
Thailand native Alex Face (born Patcharapol Tangruen) is best known for his signature character Mardi, a three-eyed child often presented in a fuzzy rabbit costume. Inspired by the artist’s own young daughter, Mardi is by turns world-weary and wry, challenging viewers to consider the legacy that our children will inherit as well as what the future holds for successive generations. Long a fixture across the Bangkok cityscape and the Thai countryside, Mardi now adorns walls in locations including Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Jakarta, Oslo, Amsterdam and Paris — and soon, Chicago.
Alex Face discovered American graffiti art while studying fine arts at Bangkok’s King Mongktut University Institute of Technology, soon acquiring two cans of spray paint — one red, the other white — which he put to creative use on his own car. At first he painted his name, then moved on to depicting his face, a flourish that inspired the Alex Face moniker. His work has since gained recognition across the globe: in 2018, he occupied the Bank of Thailand Learning Center during the first Bangkok Art Biennale, and the following year, he exhibited in the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy. Alex Face has also collaborated with high-profile brands like COACH and Mercedes Benz.
Bangkok-based MUEBON (real name: classified) is renowned for biting social commentary on subjects spanning from wealth disparity to environmental activism to the pervasive influence of contemporary media — messages he delivers via his rotating cast of colorful characters, including a flightless cartoon bird named PUKRUK and Mr. TV, possessor of a television screen face. MUEBON is perhaps most synonymous with his Mickey Mouse-inspired skull stickers and wheatpastes, memento mori urging viewers to expel their feelings of anger, frustration and hopelessness in favor of embracing acceptance and finding inner peace.
A product of the first generation of Thai street artists, MUEBON has played a pivotal role in propelling the craft to notoriety and respect across his homeland — and beyond. Raised in the slums of Thonburi, MUEBON (an alias translating to “fidgety hands”) grew up obsessed with Japanese manga. He began his graffiti art career as a teen, often painting under the cover of darkness to avoid the local police, and defied the odds to earn a fine arts degree, in 2005 graduating with honors from the Rajamangala Institute of Technology. While street art remains MUEBON’s passion, he also has exhibited paintings and sculptures in galleries across Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan and Moscow, and in 2018 he partnered with luxury label Hermès.
‘’For over 10 years I’ve seen both MUEBON and Alex Face paint tirelessly on the streets, day in and day out, with incredibly recognizable styles,” said Chris Bowden, co-founder of Souled Out Studios. “Both artists don’t just have borderless skill with a spray can, but also with oils, watercolor, sculpture and print, making their translation into the gallery seamless.”
Alex Face and MUEBON
August 10-31, 2019
Opening reception with artists, Saturday, August 10th, 6:00-9:00pm
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Opening Reception: August 2, 2019 from 6pm – 10pm
Morpho Gallery, 5216 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60625
On View: August 2nd – August 31st, 2019
Jurors: Kathy Blankley Roman and Dan Addington
About the Exhibition:
Our jurors have selected 25 artists from across the US to participate in our 8th Annual Encaustic show. The exhibition will include traditional encaustic works, along with encaustic mixed media pieces, and also 2D / 3D constructions.
The following artists will be featured: Amanda Jolley, April South-Olson, Asthon Lacy Jones, Barbara W.F. Miner, Barbara Murphy, Carol Flaitz, Carol Hamilton, Carrie Baxter, Cat Crotchett, Cindy Lesperance, Claire Jorgensen, Donna Kuo, Ivette Kjelsrud, Joe Celli, Jola Soares, Kim Segar, Laura LaRue, Linda Mayer, Lynda Ray, Mandem, Matthew Jones, Regina Quinn, Susan Delgalvis, Susan Paladino, and Tiffany Bodciek.
About the Jurors:
After 7 years of successful shows, including: Hot Wax in the City, Wax(N)Blue and Unbound(ed), FUSEDChicago member Kathy Blankley Roman returns once again to jury our 8th Annual Encaustic Exhibition. Joining her, we are pleased to have Dan Addington from Addington Gallery on board as guest juror.
Kathy Blankley Roman is an award winning artist, whose expressive paintings have appeared in shows nationally, online and in numerous private collections since 2011. Using acrylics, encaustic or oil & cold wax, she is a process painter. Roman prefers a limited palette and works in layers, employing contrasts of texture, opacity and gesture to create tension and a sense of depth and history. Mostly small to medium in scale, her works have been described as “large paintings in a small space”. They suggest an intimacy which invites viewers to come close, to explore and experience them through their own personal filters.
Dan Addington is an artist and gallery owner who has been working with wax since 1989 and exhibiting encaustic work professionally since 1992. His work has been featured in-group and solo shows across the US, and is in numerous public and private collections. Dan is owner and director of Addington Gallery, located in Chicago’s historic River North art district, and has included encaustic painters in exhibitions there since organizing their first national encaustic exhibition there in 1996. Addington’s own figurative work incorporates materials such as fabric, oil, wax, tar, gold leaf and various printed matter. The accumulation and layering of these materials echoes his interest in history and the relationships between the stratification of cultures and the layering of memory. In these constructed, overtly physical pieces, Addington seeks to engage the viewer through their own process of physical and spiritual excavation.
About Morpho Gallery:
Morpho Gallery prides itself on seeking talented artists who are on the cusp of being discovered by the mainstream art community. We invite local artists to exhibit their work in a creative and non-competitive atmosphere, where artistic experimentation and development are encouraged. By creating a blank palette inside the gallery, Morpho offers infinite possibilities for an array of colors, textures and media to come together. As members of the Bowmanville community and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, we strive to enliven the area around us as active participants in community development and growth.
Address: 5216 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Elephant Room Gallery is excited to present artist Abraham’s next solo exhibition entitled “1117”, dedicated to his father. The exhibition opens August 17th and runs through October 12th, 2019.
“1117” speaks to the growth of the artist over the past 3 years. For those who saw his last solo show at ERG in 2016, “Pushpins, Paintings & Drawings”, this new body of work demonstrates more maturity. Abraham’s paintings are more definitive this time, still chock full of characters and commentary on the current state of the world while incorporating his signature cartoonish style. While some works are darker than others, each manages to balance the whimsical and severe at the same time. Some of the paintings are a collaboration between he and his talented partner, Ligaya.
The title “1117” comes from his father’s favorite numbers. Abraham did not figure out where the numbers came from until recently when he did some math with his father’s birthdate. This exhibition includes not only paintings on canvas, but painted objects and furniture as well. Some of the works are combined as one package, such as a painted chair, bottle and painting while others come with a gift-wrapped mystery painting. This gesture by the artist best represents his intention to not take life so seriously and to always retain a bit of mystique.
“1117” opens on Saturday, August 17th with a reception from 6pm to 9pm and runs through October 12th. The gallery will be open in conjunction with Expo Chicago’s Art After Hours on September 20th from 6pm to 9pm where guests can meet the artist and view the exhibition. Elephant Room Gallery is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop Neighborhood of Chicago. Additional information can be found on the gallery’s website: www.elephantroomgallery.com.
Abraham is an illustrator, designer, as well as a fine artist. Born in Manila, Capital of the Philippines, Abraham came to the United States in the 1980’s. After school he began to use his artistic skills as a freelance artist and currently does work at some of Chicago’s top ad agencies. Armed with a double major and a unique wit, the artist uses an alternative point of view to re-imagine ideals and adds his own brand of social commentary by re-contextualizing graphic icons. He works primarily in acrylic, watercolor, ink, often mixing them together in his finished works. His work is informed by the cartoon imagery of his youth, and he counts among his influences many of the pop artists of the 1960’s. He has shown work internationally, in and around Chicago, Los Angeles, and Manila. He has recently completed public murals in Manila and continues to travel between there and his Chicago studio.
Matthew Rachman Gallery presents Linear Motion, Maura Segal’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Segal’s paintings will be paired with carefully curated modern furniture. The exhibition opens Friday, July 26th with a reception from 6 – 9pm and will continue through September 8th.
Linear Motion features new works by Maura Segal in which she explores a more minimalist aesthetic. Simplifying her palette allows Segal to further refine the intricate lines and layers that comprise her paintings. Segal uses collaged fields of various papers, both new and vintage, to create subtle variations in the background plane. Building upon this transformed canvas, she uses a combination of acrylic paints and masking materials to create composite shapes and negative spaces that draw on organic forms of motion and structure. The process creates a sense of balance, movement, and vibrancy in her work.
Maura Segal’s work is a meditation on her personal quest for order and equilibrium in everyday life. Her meticulous approach to each line, shape, and stroke creates organized chaos and infinite motion in each piece.
Address: 1659 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622