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Vertical Gallery brings Miami heat to Chicago with all-star winter group show

Posted on November 22, 2020 by Patrick Hull

Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, presents “Miami in Chicago,” a winter group show running Dec. 1–26, 2020.

“Miami in Chicago” features new work from the same talent — Martin Whatson, Alex Face, Mau Mau, Collin van der Sluijs, Joseph Renda Jr., Mysterious Al and David Heo — that Vertical planned to feature in Miami Beach in conjunction with Art Basel’s postponed Miami Art Week 2020 event. Vertical kicks off the month-long exhibit Tuesday, Dec. 1 from noon to 6:00 pm at the gallery’s 1016 N. Western Ave location.

“Just because the in-person art fairs have been cancelled doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate the artists that have been working all year on their collection of work,” says Patrick Hull, owner of Vertical Gallery. “We have a very strong group show roster for Miami Art Week, and are excited to feature all of the artists in our Chicago gallery for the entire month of December.”

“Miami in Chicago” gathers artists from across the globe:

Martin Whatson is a Norwegian street artist best known for calligraphic scribbles in grayscale voids. Over the past decade, Whatson has developed an unmistakable aesthetic combining abstract movement with figurative stenciled compositions: His works mirror the rise and fall of the streets, as he symbolically recreates the urban environment, then vandalizes it to reveal his vibrant transformations.

Alex Face is one of Thailand’s most respected and prolific street artists. On the surface, his work appears playful and lighthearted, but upon closer inspection each of his pieces explores deeper themes of poverty, environmental crisis and the present and future of society. His iconic bunny character, Mardi — initially inspired by his daughter — represents the feeling of confronting a troubled world as a vulnerable child.

Mau Mau is a renowned British urban graffiti artist who’s gained an international following with his humorous street, print and graffiti work. His efforts incorporate political, environmental and cultural commentary, often featuring his trademark character, a mischievous and fun-loving fox. With roots planted in the surf and country vibes of the North Devon coast, Mau Mau brings an air of rural sophistication to the art he has been creating for 20 years.

Collin van der Sluijs is a category-defying Netherlands-based artist whose dreamlike, deeply personal work employs a rich color palette and vibrant brush strokes evoking the Dutch masters of centuries past. His third and most recent Vertical Gallery solo exhibit, 2020’s “A Garden of Trust,” revealed profound new depths and dimensions, with van der Sluijs drawing on influences as diverse as vintage comics and his grandfather’s exotic bird aviary to produce his most ambitious, immersive canvases to date.

Joseph Renda Jr. is a Chicago-based artist whose paintings capture the symbiotic connection between humans and the natural world. Inspired by leaders in surrealism including Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, Renda often depicts highly realistic human forms interwoven with illusive natural elements; his use of classical oil painting methods and modern materials, such as spray paint, provide his work with a distinct combination of old and new artistic techniques.

Mysterious Al is an Australian-based contemporary artist who rose to fame in the early 2000’s alongside contemporaries/fellow street art pioneers D*face and Banksy, developing a notoriety for wall paintings, paste-ups and street installations. His latest paintings are based on ancient tribal masks, reimagined in wild contemporary colors. His work is striking and at first glance intimidating — but look closer, and you’ll see pieces that poke fun at man’s vulnerable psyche and fragile sense of self.

David Heo is a Chicago-based artist known for paintings and collages using non-traditional materials like crayons, house paint and construction paper. Named one of New City’s Breakout Artists for 2020, Heo’s visceral, provocative work frequently documents observations and experiences from his own life, with an emphasis on the complex, emotionally charged interactions taking place in bars, nightclubs and other after-hours milieus. “Honey and Smoke” — his debut solo show at Vertical in March 2020 — sold out on opening night.

Miami in Chicago
December 1 - 26, 2020
Opening day, Tuesday, December 1st, noon - 6:00pm
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

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Mau Mau and Beejoir in Chicago!

Posted on July 02, 2017 by Patrick Hull

We are very excited to have Mau Mau and Beejoir in Chicago for their upcoming exhibition opening on July 8. We have been personally collecting their work since 2010, and can't wait to see what they bring to the gallery. If you don't know these two artists, you should definitely check them out. Come see this very special exhibition and see why their shows in the UK, Japan and Thailand have sold-out.

Mau Mau is a renowned British urban graffiti artist who’s gained an international following with his humorous street, print and graffiti work. He incorporates political, environmental and cultural commentary to his work – often with his trademark character of a mischievous and fun loving Fox. With roots planted in surf and country vibes of the North Devon coast, Mau Mau brings an air of rural sophistication to the art he has been creating for twenty years. He has painted his way around the world, his artwork appearing on everything from shipwrecks to surfboards and billboards to city walls.

Mau Mau has produced work for World Land Trust, Greenpeace, Surfers Against Sewage and the Glastonbury Festival, and for record companies such as Ninja Tunes and Lowlife Records. He is the architect of cult brands Sewerside Boardwear and Fear Trade. His street work can also been seen all over the world including the UK, Jamaica, Thailand and Australia.

Beejoir was born in the UK and currently resides between Tokyo and Bangkok. Using varied practice's and methods of installation, sculpture, painting, spray painting and drawing, Beejoir explores modern society, conveying the way in which he sees the changing world around him and where he sees it heading. He is known for his irreverent work that is both provocative and powerful.

Beejoir has successfully shown, curated and exhibited in over 70 solo and group shows across the world in some of the leading private galleries, institutions and auction houses. His work is collected by hip hop artists, celebrities and members of the royal family and has been featured in sell-out shows throughout the world. Beejoir has also been featured in several publications, including being recognized in 'Beyond the Street’ as one the world’s 100 leading figures in street art. He has also spent over 10 years growing the careers of like-minded artists with his company Souled Out Studios.

Beejoir x Mau Mau: Foreign Policy
July 8 – 29, 2017
Opening reception with artists, Saturday, July 8, 6:00 – 10:00 pm.
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

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