Vertical Gallery is very proud to present ‘Façade,’ a solo exhibit featuring Chicago-based painter and street artist Pizza in the Rain.
‘Façade,’ which runs from Sept. 3-24 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, assembles new paintings memorializing and mythologizing the urban landscapes of days gone by — the often-overlooked places and spaces woven into the memories of Chicago’s patchwork of communities. In conjunction with the show’s opening reception, taking place Saturday, Sept. 3 from noon to 6:00 pm, Vertical also will release two new Pizza in the Rain (PITR) prints.
While ‘Façade’ features Pizza in the Rain’s graffiti-enriched interpretations of buildings from throughout Chicago, the exhibit focuses on neighborhood landmarks in and around Logan Square (the artist’s former residence) and the Old Irving Park area (his current home base).
“’Facades’ are places that it sometimes seems no one cares about, when in fact they hold a deep meaning,” Pizza in the Rain says. “A lot of these buildings are places where I’ve had personal experiences, whether it’s a place I used to visit all the time or a place that catches my eye when I’m on a bike ride. Even though these sites are no longer in vogue, I know they still hold fond memories for many other people, too.”
All the works featured in ‘Façade’ begin with reference photos snapped via PITR’s smartphone. Next he creates detailed pencil sketches — similar in style and scope to architectural blueprints — before commencing work on the final painted piece. “The last step comes as I’m painting, when I bring in personal details and recreate elements of work by graffiti artists I admire,” PITR explains. “Each piece is my fantasy version of how that particular building might look, but I always remain true to its real-world aesthetics.”
The self-taught Pizza in the Rain — an alias harkening back to the artist’s childhood — cites his mother (a professional photographer for 35 years) and father (the force behind a nonprofit established to boost literacy rates among inner-city children) as formative influences. After a teenage dalliance with graffiti art, he pursued a career in corporate America, but rededicated himself to drawing, painting and public art after experiencing ‘Three Sides to Every Story,’ a 2014 Vertical Gallery exhibit featuring the work of fellow Chicago artist Grant William Thye.
Pizza in the Rain made his Vertical debut in 2018 with the trio show ‘Counterparts,’ alongside Joseph Renda Jr. and CROP. A year later he returned to the gallery as the mastermind behind 'Landscapes,’ a group show commemorating a 13-month-long collaborative public art project celebrating the architecture of the Windy City. PITR has additionally exhibited in galleries in Portland and New Orleans, and spearheaded public art projects in Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, Paris and London.
Pizza in the Rain
Sept 3 - 24, 2022
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave.