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Ali Six "Trust" at Vertical Project Space

Posted on June 17, 2021 by Patrick Hull

Vertical Project Space is very proud to present ‘Trust,’ a solo exhibit featuring new work from Nikko Locander, a.k.a. Ali Six, the Chicago-based multimedia artist and graffiti writer celebrated for his signature creation Richie the Raccoon.

‘Trust,’ which runs June 19-July 25 at Vertical Project Space’s West Town location (2006 W. Chicago Ave. #1R — enter via the alley off Damen Ave.), assembles dozens of pieces presented across a diverse range of mediums: sculptures, wood cutouts, skate decks, mirrors, found materials, even handwoven decorative rugs.

'Trust’ draws heavily on personal experiences throughout Ali Six's life, from childhood to adulthood, and makes frequent visual references to apples — for centuries, a symbol of trust playing vital roles in tales from Adam and Eve to Sir Isaac Newton's discovery of the law of gravity, as well as a traditional gift from a student to a teacher to cement their relationship. Ali Six hopes that each viewer will reminisce on their own personal experiences within this body of work, or pause to contemplate what trust truly represents.  

The self-taught Ali Six honed his craft by scaling hundreds of Chicago buildings as a graffiti artist, learning color theory and typography among other skills. His love of old cartoons inspired the creation of Richie the Raccoon: "I felt a raccoon best symbolized the night culture of graffiti,” Ali Six says. “Raccoons are nocturnal, and while everyone is asleep, graffiti artists are awake, creating masterpieces."

Locander, born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, began his artistic journey as a five-year-old inspired by seeing his mother draw a cartoon bear for a kindergarten project. Throughout his life, he drew cartoons during class, and in high school he was introduced to graffiti. After building his reputation within vandalizing culture as Buelr (an homage to the Chicago movie classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Ali Six now focuses on further popularizing Richie the Raccoon around the city and across the globe through murals and wheatpastes.

Although ‘Trust’ signals Ali Six’s solo Vertical Project Space debut, he first exhibited at Vertical Gallery in 2013 as part of the holiday-themed ‘Deck the Halls’ skate deck group show. In addition to other group and solo shows throughout the Chicagoland area, Ali Six has collaborated with brands including Nike, Timberland, Boneyard and Jugrnaut, also partnering with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and hometown hip-hop hero Chance the Rapper.

 Ali Six
“Trust”
June 19 – July 25, 2021
Opening Day: Saturday, June 19th noon-5
Vertical Project Space
2006 W. Chicago Ave #1R

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