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  • 10:11:46 pm on November 10, 2008 | 1 | # |

    Chanel mobile artThe Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit closed Sunday, Nov 9 after its two-week display in Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. The exhibition is a collection of artwork which chronicles the history of the quilted handbag with a 30-minute audio tour of the art.

    Lines for the exhibit were up to 4.5 hours long, according to one of the Chanel reps, dressed in head-to-toe Chanel jumpsuits. The shortest wait time, he said was about 2.5 hours toward the end of the exhibit’s life in central park.


    The entire site, according to the New York Magazine Web site covered 2,297 square meters and required three weeks to assemble, and cost $400,000, paid to the Central Park Conservancy. The exhibit was free to all and included world-renowned artists’ contributions.

    According to Carol Vogel’s article in the New York Times, the genesis for the project was the handbag’s 50th anniversary in 2005, when Chanel designer, Karl Lagerfeld, issued a new version of the purse.

    Entrance to exhibitFor more information, visit the Chanel website.


  • 11:57:05 am on November 6, 2008 | 0 | # |


    Christopher Drew

    Christopher drew sat up against a light post in front of the Chicago Institute of Art Tuesday, eating a large, pumpernickel and undetermined smell sandwich. He had his silkscreen set on his lap and his artwork weighted down on the sidewalk with Vitamin C and other nutrient bottles. His literature was a little more hidden, but those who sat down to talk quickly learned that he was protesting.

    Drew, 58 is the founder of the Free Speech Artists’ Movement in Uptown, which protests the Chicago peddler law, passed in 1994, which prohibits artists from selling their work on the sidewalks throughout the loop. “We’re going to sue the city for our speech rights,” he said, “so [one] can speak, but he can’t sell a portrait for a dollar.”

    Drew asked for donations in exchange for his silkscreen patches, which read “Obama protect the constitution vote for negotiation in place of war… Biden,” with a border that provides information on hiswebsite

  • 09:30:17 am on October 21, 2008 | 0 | # |

    Rather than telling you about some of the art I saw this weekend, I’ll mix it up and talk about my experience at the art institute. In a museum that is old and well renowned, I had a very disappointing experience with the old, probably unknown staff.

    Walking around the museum with my 70-something grandparents, I don’t think a young, lost student is much of a bother. Further, grandparents or not, I am aware of my presence and know that when asking for help I am sincere rather than demanding.

    The first example was at the ticket desk, where the man behind the counter was a zero, so not unfriendly, but not at all friendly. We walked through the ticket booth and began to look for the European modern paintings (I needed to see one for a paper). We probably zoned and walked in circles for a few minutes before going to a desk to ask for directions. It was obvious that a whole wing is currently closed and the huge signs told us so, but we were still unclear on the details.

    After asking this man, probably in his early 60s/late 50s, my grandparents noticed his bitter attitude and, the patient adults they are, stepped off. But not realizing myself, I asked the deal, got a smirk, asked again, and again. Finally huffing and saying “whatever, I’ll just do it myself,” and frustrated that I let some dude irk me on a Friday with my family, G-ma played the polite card and forced us to tough him out.

    To make this long rant shorter, after a quick bite and run-in with the member lounge woman that hated the idea of someone under 40 entering, we headed back toward the front of the museum, all flustered and surprised at the awful service we had seen. “People in Chicago are usually so nice,” they were saying, “is it really that annoying to ask directions?”

    Actually, it probably is considering the 10,000 paper maps they print everyday and even moreso that no one takes a minute to read them. But low and behold we walked ahead, and someone probably heard what we were saying and walkie-talkied this man, who answered our final question with a huge smile and empathy in our disappointment of some of the paintings we didn’t get to see.

    He was one of those men who probably get everyone to smile before they leave. I think I was almost beaming when I left because I was so relieved to find a friendly helper. But with an entire college of kids and such a highly respected reputation, I was dumbfounded by the snarky staff until – I’ll call him Norm – saved the day.

  • 07:48:44 am on October 16, 2008 | 0 | # |

    The presidential debates were recorded visually and took different forms as each candidate conveyed his or her talking points over a large-scale screen at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston last month. From Sosolimited, a group of three young media artists, according to the New York Times Web site, who present live remixes of the debates, using information they rearrange directly from the broadcast.

    “ReConstitution 2008,” is the project name, which examines the language of politics while “gently mocking its repetitious nature” with the screen as a playful scoreboard. The members of Sosolimited are all graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and work together at a Boston Design firm.

    Their other work includes an interactive display at the Cirque du Soleil “Love” show that includes all Beatles music. Formed in 2003, their performance this month is the first since April, when they had a project that addressed the nation’s taxes.

    For more information, go to the Sosolimited website

  • 02:54:03 pm on October 10, 2008 | 0 | # |
    Tags: , ,

    A large-scale rectangular sculpture with a grid of barbed wire and red paint greets visitors at the DePaul art museum – the caption is “…for Mayor Daley.”

    Other works portraying Daley, weapons, protest and outrage toward Chicago accompany Barnett Newman’s “Barbed Wire” at  the “1968,” exhibit, which looks at the violence and protest in Chicago just before the 1968 election. Other artists involved include Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Robert Motherwell and Roy Lictenstein.

    courtesy of museum site

    courtesy of museum site

    One caption explained how days before the 1968 election, the artist revolution group exhibited works that criticized Mayor Daley and his term as mayor, which saw riots and pandemonium at the democratic national convention that preceded. Warhol’s one contribution was a silkscreen image of a photo taken during the riots, showing police officers and their dogs in a violent response.

    Robert Motherwell’s piece was a 4″x6″ canvas with a splatter of black paint. According to the caption, Motherwell was so well-known for his work and his refusal to participate in any politically-related events that his mere contribution was enough to be highlighted.

    On the north side of the hallway of the DePaul Museum, is a second gallery with photos explaining the significance of Chicago in 1968 with regards to the election. The exhibition began Sep. 18 and will run until Nov. 23.

    Exhibit info

  • 02:32:22 pm on October 6, 2008 | 0 | # |

       The free and first ever “Wired: Next Fest” exhibit in Millenium park will be open through Sunday. The exhibit features new technologies and concepts for sustainable products. The event, hoping viewers will “experience the future,” according to it’s website, is sponsored by CitiBank, Toyota and Xerox, and began Sept. 28.

    As well as sustainable design, the exhibit features information and examples of next generation healthcare as well as interactive art and design.

    Pictured above is “Cell Phone Disco” a light show which is composed of sensors of the surrounding electromagnetic field of active phones. In this a viewer is also a creator, as they participate in where the work goes.

    Another form of interactive art on display is Eric Natzke’s Art of Play, a series of 9-foot wide prints created with the Flash computer software. Natzke has created a way to take viewers through the creation process with a video that shows his designs being made.

  • 02:05:31 pm on September 29, 2008 | 0 | # |
    Tags: , , ,

    Recycled Chardonnay bottles made into a bathroom tile-wall may be the most unique form of “smart-living” I’ve heard of yet – and maybe the only benefit to drinking heavily I’ve heard thus far.

    The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry has built SmartHome, a 2200-square foot home on its grounds that will show visitors how they can work toward living more eco-friendly lives. The three-story home was ecquipped with LED light-bulbs, sustainable flooring made out of recycled products on the deck, a utility bike that, when the pedals turned, powered the television, a garden rooftop, etc.

    The idea behind everything Matt ‘the hippie’ tourguide explained was that although these ‘smart’ items cost more upfront, they will pay off as they outlast the cheaper choice.

    courtesy of Brian Jones of "Treehugger" website

    courtesy of Brian Jones of

    One interesting feature, aside from the excercise machine was the technology that connected “SmartHome” technology to the owner’s cell phone, allowing them to turn off lights, close the garage, turn down the heat, etc. from his/her cell phone if they forgot to do something. This is probably more in the area of expensive technology but seems like it would be great for securing someone’s home.

    The exhibit is at the museum of Science and Industry through January 4, 2009. The home itself cost $400,000 to build on a piece of $300,000 property, including heating and electricity and all of the features (not furniture).

    courtesy of chicagomag.com

    courtesy of chicagomag.com