Mau Mau returns to Vertical Gallery with first-ever U.S. solo art show

Mau Mau
“Bombing walls and painting bridges”
July 13 – August 3, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, July 13, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present British urban graffiti artist Mau Mau’s first U.S. solo exhibition “Bombing walls and painting bridges,” running from July 13 through August 3, 2019.

“Bombing walls and painting bridges” features the newest work from Mau Mau, who made his Vertical Gallery debut in mid-2017 with the collaborative exhibit “Foreign Policy,” co-headlined by his coconspirator Beejoir. Mau Mau will attend the “Bombing walls and painting bridges” opening reception, taking place at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location from 6:00-9:00 pm on Saturday, July 13.

Mau Mau brings to Vertical a wry, colorful approach that is both refreshingly simple and powerfully sophisticated. Often his work comments on the social and political forces shaping life in the 21st century, with a recurring focus on environmental themes, and frequently features his signature red fox character — a mischievous symbol of survival and street savvy.

“There is profound meaning behind the work that Mau Mau is doing, but it’s done in a very fun, whimsical way that everyone can understand and appreciate. Nobody else is doing it the way he’s doing it,” said Patrick Hull, Vertical Gallery owner and founder. “He is on the brink of breaking through as a major international artist, and this show is a clear evolution of his work. I truly believe Mau Mau will be a household name.”

A product of coastal North Devon and its thriving surf culture, Mau Mau takes his name from a four-month sojourn to Ghana during the early 1990s: unable to pronounce his birth name, the Rastafarians of the Twelve Tribes temple dubbed him “Mau Mau,” an alias that has since graced everything from shipwrecks to surfboards to city walls across locations as far flung as Jamaica, Australia, Egypt and Thailand. In addition to sold-out solo exhibitions in the U.K., Japan and Thailand, Mau Mau has completed projects for organizations including Greenpeace, Surfers Against Sewage and the Glastonbury Festival. He has also created animated music videos for recording artists including The Herbaliser, Dizzee Rascal and DJ Skitz, and teamed with independent record labels like Ninja Tune and Lowlife Records.

Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773.697.3846
www.verticalgallery.com

6-Year Anniversary Group Show at Vertical Gallery

April 6 – 27, 2019
Opening reception, Saturday, April 6th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is thrilled to present a special exhibition celebrating their 6-year anniversary. The show will feature over 40 artists – local, national & international – from 14 different countries with artistic styles that have shaped the gallery’s programming over the years. The exhibition runs April 6 – 27, with an opening reception on Saturday, April 6th, 6:00-9:00pm.

Artists include:

Alex Senna (BR)
Amose (FR)
Andreas Englund (SE)
Andrew Watch (CA)
Anthony Lister (AU)
Beejoir (TH)
Ben Eine (UK)
Ben Frost (AU)
Ben Slow (UK)
Brad Novak (NZ)
Brandon Boyd (US)
Candice Tripp (UK)
Chad Hasegawa (US)
Christopher Cosnowski (US)
Chris Cunningham (UK)
CLS (US)
Collin van der Sluijs (NL)
Deih (ES)
Dot Dot Dot (NO)
Fourhundred ML (CA)
Grant William Thye (US)
Hebru Brantley (US)
Herakut (DE)
James Thistlethwaite (UK)
Jas Petersen (US)
Joseph Renda Jr. (US)
Kayla Mahaffey (US)
LIE (US)
Martin Whatson (NO)
Mau Mau (UK)
Merlot (US)
Merry James (US)
Philip Bosmans (BE)
Pipsqueak Was Here!!! (NL)
Pizza in the Rain (US)
Pure Evil (UK)
RYCA (UK)
Sergio Farfan (US)
Shark Toof (US)
Steve Seeley (US)
TRUST iCON (UK)
XOOOOX (DE)

Since opening their doors at 1016 N. Western Avenue in 2013, Vertical Gallery has presented ambitious exhibitions with work influenced by street art, urban environments, graffiti, pop culture, graphic design and illustration. With 10 to 12 group and solo shows per year, plus participation in major international art fairs, Vertical Gallery has featured over 300 different artists from around the world in their exhibitions.

Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773.697.3846
www.verticalgallery.com

Jillian Evelyn: It’s About Time

Vertical Gallery is thrilled to present a solo show of new work by Los Angeles-based painter Jillian Evelyn. ‘It’s About Time’ will be exhibited at Line Dot from March 23rd until April 20th, with an artist reception on opening night from 6:00-9:00pm.

‘It’s About Time’ investigates temporal experience from a female perspective, delving into the near-obsessive nature of women’s relationship with time. The increasingly rapid pace of our technology-driven world and the feminist reckoning of the ‘Time’s Up’ movement lend a particular relevance to the subject, but Jillian Evelyn’s panoptic lens extends beyond the current moment and is rooted in her own experience. Evelyn created the artwork for this exhibition as a way to confront and to process her personal and cultural observations of women’s relationship to time. She traces the burgeoning complexity of this relationship to the transition from childhood to womanhood and the cyclical rhythm that slowly develops therein. Now in her thirties, the artist is discovering a new set of challenges that women face around aging and childbearing. Reflecting society’s limited scope of female value centered on unrealistic expectations of physical appearance and motherhood, women are often left feeling that their worth diminishes as they age.

‘It’s About Time’ combats these dominant cultural narratives and offers an unapologetic alternative that embraces female experience in all its messy complexity. In these new paintings, Evelyn plays with texture and linework to novel effect, resulting in a fresh take on the signature style of her previous pieces. Reflecting on this creative process, Evelyn articulates that “it felt suitable to utilize this time to grow as an artist rather than fear change and the idea that my time as an artist will come to an end.”

Born in the midwest and currently living in Los Angeles, Jillian Evelyn is a highly accomplished painter, sculptor, illustrator and printmaker. Her practice balances challenging conceptual themes that tackle the darker sides of modern life with a brightly-colored pop aesthetic. In addition to gallery shows across the US, her work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Vice, CONTEXT Art Miami, and other major fairs and publications.

Jillian Evelyn: It’s About Time
March 23 – April 20, 2019
Opening reception with the artist on Saturday, March 23rd 6:00-9:00pm

Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773.697.3846
www.verticalgallery.com

TWO SIDES – Gemma Compton and Copyright

Vertical Gallery presents a special two artist exhibition from Copyright and Gemma Compton titled “Two Sides”. The Bristol, UK-based husband and wife will debut new individual works, as well as collaborative pieces. The exhibition runs March 2 – 23, 2019 with an opening reception with the artists on Saturday, March 2nd, 6:00-9:00pm.

Copyright has been fusing street art, graffiti and traditional painting styles for over 15 years. His paintings represent a contradiction of idealism and unattainable visions of beauty found in fashion, music and popular culture – often depicted by butterflies, flowers and beautiful women. Copyright is continuously experimenting and pushing his work forward, mixing new materials and techniques with his trademark style, with the resulting paintings being a unique blend of fine art and street art. In addition to exhibiting throughout Europe, he had a solo show at Vertical in 2016, and has participated in art fairs and several group shows with the gallery.

Gemma Compton explores the meaning of fragility, love, life and loss. Her work contains elements of graffiti, illustration and photo realism, creating a mix of styles that makes her art bold, beautiful and impactful. Her work has crossed from gallery walls to high street fashion labels, interiors and street art murals. Gemma has exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, including the Houses of Parliament in 2014.

Copyright & Gemma Compton “Two Sides”
March 2 – 23, 2019
Opening reception, Saturday, March 2nd, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago
verticalgallery.com

INSTINCT

February 2 – 23, 2019
Opening reception, Saturday, February 2nd, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

Vertical Gallery is proud to present their first exhibition of 2019 titled INSTINCT, featuring Adonna Khare (US), Hama Woods (NO), Dzia (BE), ShadowMonsterBear (US), Sweler (AU), and Ava Grey/Czr Prz (US). Throughout art history, animals have served as inspiration for emotions, conflict, environmental issues, personal experiences, and more. All six of these artists incorporate animals in their work, and are exhibiting at Vertical for the first time. The show runs February 2 – 23, with an opening reception on Saturday, February 2nd, 6-9pm.

Sweler is an artist based in Melbourne, Australia who at an early age was influenced and involved in the Street Graffiti scene. After moving to London in 2001 he spent ten years developing his style and working as a freelance artist. Having a small break from painting, Sweler moved back to Melbourne where he is again developing his craft. Today his art is character and creature based. He paints characters that at first glance seem pleasant but a darker side resides beneath the surface.

DZIA is a Belgian street and urban artist known for his animal murals composed of bold abstract and geometric lines. Born and raised in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, DZIA is classically trained with a masters in fine art at the Royal Academy in his hometown. DZIA works across a variety of media that ranges from stencils, painting, sculpture and taxidermy through to street art and graffiti, typically depicting wild animals.

Hama Woods is a stencil artist, based in Oslo, Norway. Her work reflects the sociological approach to greed and consumption, and its direct effect on our natural environment. Her hope is to empower and challenge viewers to come to their own conclusions and to rethink the choices they make which effect today and tomorrow.

ShadowMonsterBear is a self-taught artist living in Los Angeles, California. She is known for creating bright, animal murals using spray paint and acrylic. ShadowMonsterBear painted her first commissioned mural in 2013, and has since painted numerous murals in Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, and around the country.

Adonna Khare is a Los Angeles based artist focused on carbon pencil on paper drawings. Born in a small town in Iowa, she went on to receive her Masters of Fine Art from California State University Long Beach. She creates animals in absurd situations using pencil, an eraser and a sock as her tools. The drawings are never pre-planned, rather they evolve organically through her experiences.

Ava Grey / Czr Prz is an artist duo comprised of Caesar Perez and Nick Glazebrook – a partnership that seamlessly weaves their individual vision and talents. Fueled by a mutual desire to create intricate works of art featuring a range of materials, they’re constantly evolving their techniques to create sculptures iconic to their own style.

Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773.697.3846
www.verticalgallery.com