Category Archives: Art

Size Matters Art Show Now Online

Size Matters Art Show StudioLab Chicago Art

The Size Matters show that ran in StudioLab recently has been taken down from the physical space at StudioLab and has moved online at All artwork listed there is for sale unless otherwise indicated.

Size Matters is a show featuring post-card sized artwork from a variety of artists both Chicago-based and international. The show runs online for a limited time-don’t miss the chance to see postcard sized works by John Airo, Gretchen Hasse, Manzana Oscura, Renee McGinnis, Gabriel Martinez, and many others.

Size Matters Art Show Feb 26-28 2016 At StudioLab

Size Matters Art Show StudioLab Chicago Art

We all pretend it doesn’t, but size matters. This isn’t about anatomy; it is about space. Who has the room to hang a gigantic painting or photograph? Most of us live in fairly small places and we need small art.

To this end and StudioLab present “Size Matters” via The show opens Friday, February 26 and runs until Sunday February 28. An online version of the show runs from Monday, February 29 until March 16, 2016. The opening reception takes place Friday, February 26 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

All the art in this show is the size of a legal U.S. postcard. Pieces are rectangular, at least 3-1/2 inches high by 5 inches long and no more than 4-1/4 inches high by 6 inches long. We are making some allowances for pieces that are three dimensional. Art comes from painters, photographers, video and mixed-media artists. Artists come from all over the USA (and one from Mexico). At the bottom of the release are links to artist websites.

Artists are charged no fees and get the total amount of any piece sold in person or online (processing fees for credit cards and shipping are added to the cost).

Artists set to appear (we may add some); Renee McGinnis (Chicago) Gabriel Martinez (Philadelphia), John Airo (Chicago), Samantha Eden Oakey (Miami), Gretchen Hasse (Chicago), Kimberly Fitzgerald (San Diego), James Messersmith (Los Angeles), Elyse Martin (Chicago), Joe Wallace (Chicago), Manzana Oscura (Mexico City) Areli Leon (Chicago).

StudioLab Open Studios Group Show December 4 2015

Flatiron Arts Building

StudioLab presents its first-ever group show on Friday December 4 2015 at its new location in the Flatiron Arts Building at 1579 N. Milwaukee (Studio #220) in Chicago, Illinois.

This show is mostly Chicago artists, with at least one Texas artist thrown in for good measure. This show will feature the work of Brett Manning, Carlos Moore, Lara Ditkoff, Kena Sosa, Andrew Rehs, and others. This is a mixed-media show, so there will be photography, painting, zines, and more.

This open studio event is part of the Flatiron Arts Building First Friday open studios, running from 6PM. We’ll have more updates, information, and previews of the show in the days leading up to the show.

Deadly Prey Gallery Grand Opening

Deadly Prey Gallery West African Movie PostersFriday June 26, 2015 was the grand opening of Deadly Prey Gallery, run by Brian and Heidi Chankin in Chicago. This opening was important for a variety of reasons, but to me personally it was especially significant due to the nature of the work Deadly Prey specializes in: hand-painted movie posters from West Africa.

It would be very easy to pigeonhole these paintings into one or more art categories. All at once they could be viewed as naive art, outsider art, any number of labels might apply–especially if you don’t know the backstory and are just looking at the images as they hang in the gallery.

But the Deadly Prey collection, which seems to amount to hundreds of these large paintings, is much more than that. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the films represented by these posters–mainstream Hollywood films, low-budget genre movies, Hong Kong cinema and much more–knows that the posters are wildly interpretive of their subject matter.

The images you see sometimes don’t have a thing to do with the films themselves, or have only the most basic association with the film represented.

And that’s part of the allure of these posters–guessing whether or not the artist had even seen the film in question and wondering which came first, the American awareness of these works of art or the film Be Kind, Rewind, which one might consider to be a spiritual cousin to this body of work. (If that reference is lost on you, view the paintings first, then watch the film.) Some might consider the association between the two a bit of a stretch, but there’s a similar notion at work–the interpretation, re-interpretation, and even misinterpretation of an existing work by the artist.

Another thing that creates a mystique about this body of work is the medium–these hand-painted movie posters are all realized on re-purposed rice and flour bags–the jumbo variety. Some of the posters are either only lightly primed or possibly not primed at all, the flour or rice company logos bleeding through on a small number of the works on display at the opening. This only enhances the effect of these posters–it seems clear that these works are realized on a very small budget and with an incredible amount of heart.

Brian and Heidi Chankin have opened Deadly Prey  at least in part, it seems, to give a permanent home to this incredible collection, portions of which are available for sale. Opening night was the first step in what is hoped (especially by me) to be a long career as a Chicago independent gallery.

Deadly Prey Gallery is located at 1433 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642. Contact them at (312) 659-1991 to arrange a viewing of the collection.

–Joe Wallace

Deadly Prey Heidi Chankin Brian Chankin(image courtesy of Deadly Prey Gallery)