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        Liz Flores ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’

        Liz Flores ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’

        Vertical Gallery is very proud to present ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá,’ a solo exhibit featuring Chicago-based painter and muralist Liz Flores.

        ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá,’ which runs from Dec. 10-31 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, launches Flores into the next phase of her ascent, embracing new shapes, textures and patterns that expand the scope of her signature abstract figurative portraits. The 14 new pieces featured in the show also emphasize Flores’ evolution as a visual storyteller, revealing a deeper, more profound sense of self — a direct outgrowth of the artist’s exploration of her family’s roots. Flores will attend the opening reception, taking place Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon to 6:00 pm.

        Flores conceived and created ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ in the wake of traveling to her mother’s native Cuba and and to Mexico where her father’s family is from, the latter journey undertaken in partnership with the art and travel project The Jaunt. These experiences radically transformed the U.S.-born Flores’s relationship to the cultural forces and traditions that shaped her from afar.

        “I’ve traveled to Mexico in the past to see family, but this was my first time visiting Cuba. When visiting these two places, I experienced an emotional pull. It might be the food or the language, but I felt at home and nostalgic,” Flores explains. “‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ is inspired by those feelings of nostalgia, the clash between tradition and modern life, as well as the search for belonging and identity”.

        The title ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’ — which translates from Spanish as “From neither here nor there” — is a common expression among people coming to terms with the complexities and contradictions of their multicultural makeup, Flores notes.

        “This work is a direct reaction to the question ‘What are you?’” she says. “In the U.S., you don’t always feel like you are American enough. But then at the same time you may not always feel Latina enough. You live in the in-between. It’s a struggle to respond when someone asks ‘What are you?’ because it’s such a struggle to define yourself. You feel torn between three different identities — American, Mexican and Cuban — and realizing that you’re a little bit of everything. It’s almost a completely new identity that’s just for you.”

        The self-taught Flores earned her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship from Illinois State University, abandoning the corporate world after three years to pursue a career in art. A 2019 mural for Sephora (still on view inside Chicago’s Water Tower Place) set in motion a series of collaborations with brands like Lululemon, Target and the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Flores has also participated in group shows across the Chicagoland area, including Vertical Gallery’s ‘It Was All a Dream’ and ‘Atomic Number 13’ (both from 2021) as well as this past April’s 9-Year Anniversary Show.

        Liz Flores
        ‘Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá’
        December 10 - 31, 2022
        Opening day: December 10, noon-6pm
        Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

        Vertical Gallery turns NINE

        Vertical Gallery turns NINE

        Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present ‘NINE,’ its nine-year anniversary exhibition.

        ‘NINE,’ which runs from April 2-23 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, includes ten artists, each contributing nine original 12”x12” works. The show features Ben Frost, Mau Mau, Liz Flores, Jeremy Yamamura, FNNCH, Helen Proctor, Chris Uphues, Jamiah Calvin, 2choey and Flog. Vertical will also release new prints from Frost and Yamamura on opening day, and from Kayla Mahaffey on April 15.

        “We’re thankful to all of our artists and collectors for their support over the past nine years,” says Patrick Hull, owner of Vertical Gallery. “We’re thrilled to have this group of amazing artists in our anniversary show. With 90 original works and multiple print releases, there is something for everyone.”

        While Vertical originally planned to include nine artists in the ‘NINE’ roster, the gallery evolved the theme to encompass ten artists representing nine years — plus one to grow on. Many of the names will be familiar to longtime fans of the gallery. Australian Ben Frost has been exhibiting with Vertical since June 2013; he curated “Paper Jam,” its first anniversary show, and has headlined four art fair solo exhibits over the years. UK street artist Mau Mau, known for his mischievous fox, has also featured in numerous Vertical group shows as well as two solo shows.

        While 2choey from Bangkok is showing for his second time, following his participation in Vertical’s recent Winter Group Show, four of the ‘NINE’ artists are showing at the gallery for the first time. Tokyo-based Jeremy Yamamura brings his signature Dogzzz; San Francisco-based FNNCH offers his trademark honey bears; French artist Flog is showing for the first time in the U.S. with his whimsical “glass people” series; and Australian artist Helen Proctor will feature her colorful abstract landscape paintings.

        Last but not least, ‘NINE’ features three Chicago artists. Liz Flores, who participated in a couple of previous Vertical group shows, will present a solo exhibit at the gallery in December 2022, while Jamiah Calvin follows his sold-out September 2021 Vertical Project Space solo show with new drawings. Chris Uphues has participated in many Vertical group shows since 2015, and brings a new series of intricate acrylic paintings to the ‘NINE’ show.

        Vertical Gallery, established in April 2013 in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood, focuses on work influenced by street art, urban environments, graffiti, pop culture, graphic design and illustration. The gallery has distinguished itself as a pioneer through its consistent programming of significant emerging and established local, national and international artists.

        April 2 – 23, 2022
        Opening Day: Saturday, April 2nd, noon-6pm
        Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago