I just bought a ZORE

Original work by Mario Gonzalez Jr., ZORE

Painting by Mario Gonzalez Jr., ZORE

I would not call myself an art collector, but the walls of my home are filled with paintings by various artists.  My mother, Lori Bloom Bohaty, was a painter, and so her work is well represented.  There are also a several lithographs, a religious icon, a sculpture of welded iron, and a stained glass window.  It might be true that I didn’t need any more art.  And yet, when I see a piece of art that belongs in my  home, I somehow know it.  That’s why I bought a piece by Mario Gonzalez Jr. AKA ZORE, this week.

Painting by Mario Gonzalez Jr., ZORE

Painting by Mario Gonzalez Jr., ZORE

An original piece of art transforms a room in a way that even the most beautiful set of furniture from Room and Board cannot.  When the energy of an artist mixes with his medium, a mysterious alchemical transformation occurs.  The resulting work of art imbues the space it occupies with the the living spirit of creativity.    Every time you look at a piece of art you love, it reminds you of what it is to be alive.  For we are all here to create, to be artists in whatever it is we have chosen to do.

In my humble opinion, the mass-produced prints available at IKEA or Target might be somewhat pleasing to the eye, but the feeling they produce is just not the same.  And if you can afford a big screen TV, an iPad, or a smart phone, you can afford original art.

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Chris Silva and the collaboration of Chicago artists in the era of gridlock

Before you settle in with the big screen and chicken wings tonight, have a healthy taste of art.  You can read about Chris Silva and the collaboration of Chicago artists in the era of gridlock on the Examiner here.

Chris Silva is the artist who created the stunning mosaic mural of birds in circular flight from heart to heart at the California station on the pink line.  He also, along with artists Anthony Lewellen, Brian Steckel, David Cuesta and John Heenan, crafted an award-winning installation that won the 2012 ArtPrize in the 3D category.  The three-dimensional sculpture is ingeniously embellished with light and sound.  Fabulous.

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Graffiti Writers Return from Exile at Zhou B Art Center

Work by "ZORE" Mario Gonzalez Jr.

Some find little merit in the graffiti that adorns the walls of abandoned buildings or the sides of subway trains here in Chicago.   And yet the graffiti artists persevere, wielding their cans of spray paint, creating spontaneous arabesques and turns in various colors.

Work by "ZORE" Mario Gonzalez Jr. At the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport, from Friday, Jan. 18 through Saturday, Feb. 9,  you can take a look the work of 20 some graffiti artists who started forging their urban style and gaining notoriety in the 80′s and 90′s.   Now they’re all grown up, mature visual artists who have exchanged the thrill of spraying a subway train for the comfort of painting in warm studio space.  Having pioneered one of the most controversial and influential urban art movements of our time, they continue to expand their artistic vision

Read the full article on the Examiner.com HERE

Work by "ZORE" Mario Gonzalez Jr

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On the cusp of the new year, write a wish

The new year, still unwritten, looms large and open and full of promise.  Miracles can happen if you imagine them, if you work hard enough, if you try over and over and over again.  So make a wish, write it down, put it in a safe place, and believe.

Image by Adam McLean

Handcolored image by Adam McLean

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Celebrating the end of the old world at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary

If the old world is ending, as the Mayan calendar suggests, then a new world is beginning.  Celebrating this auspicious day, 12-12-12, Hilton  | Asmus  Contemporary is hosting a stunning exhibition which opens tonight, 5-9 p.m.  Artist and poet Arica Hilton explores the ancient mystery of body and soul in her latest works.

Throughout the history of Western thought, philosophers, perhaps beginning with Plato, have sought to define the human soul. Following the ancient tradition, artist Arica Hilton aspires to express this ineffable essence of life.

Read the rest of the article on the Examiner.com here.

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To the light workers on 12-12-12 and the end of the world as we know it

Imagining 12-12-12, this auspicious day, as the beginning of a more just, peaceful, awakened world.  Sending good wishes to the light workers, to all of you who go about your work, quietly making a difference.  Let it be the end of the world as we know it, let it be the start of something entirely new.

crystal ball

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Buy Art, Not Made in China

You can shop for the usual mass-produced items this holiday season, or you can head over to the Winter Arts and Crafts Expo in Evanston, where over 100 selected artisans will offer unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.

Read about the Expo here, in my latest Examiner.com article.  Painter Molly Cranch and ceramist Lisa Harris are two Chicago artists who will be exhibiting at this year’s event.

Painting by Molly Cranch

Painting by Molly Cranch

Tile by ceramist Lisa Harris

Tile by ceramist Lisa Harris

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Colors of Om by Cuban American Artist Rick Garcia

The rich and exotic flavor of Cuba, with its glittering nightclubs, conga beat, cigar scent, rum haze and tropical sunlight, inspired artist Rick Garcia to create a nostalgic series of paintings celebrating his heritage.

Read the complete article, as published in the Examiner.com, here.

Painting by Rick Garcia

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Away with the Faeries by Beth Shadur

Ciunas by Beth Shadur

Ireland–misty land of green mountains, ancient stones, mysterious lakes, and magical creatures.  Drawing from her artist residency in this mystical country, Beth Shadur has created “Away with the Faeries:  Mixed Media Paintings.”

Read the rest of the article about Beth’s work, posted on the Examiner.com, here.

Painting by Beth Shadur

Hand by Beth Shadur

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Approaching All Hallows’ Eve and the world of the invisible at the Zhou B Art Center

Next up in my arts column on the Examiner.com:  Parallel Vision, an exhibit by one of my favorite Chicago artists, Sergio Gomez. The show runs from Friday, Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 31 at the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport.

Read the full article here.

Parallel Vision by Sergio Gomez

Fall by Sergio Gomez

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