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        'New in Town' Group Show

        'New in Town' Group Show

        Vertical Gallery is excited to announce our next exhibition! “New In Town” is a special group show curated by Blake Jones, featuring 12 global artists. 

        Geoffrey Bouillet (JP)
        Blic (PH)
        Berbain (ID)
        Hang (HK)
        Yusuke Toda (JP)
        Sarcitayasa (ID)
        Cy Wang (HK)
        TakkaPhaii (TH)
        Shishidomia (JP)
        Sonni (US)
        Jeremy Yamamura (JP)
        Se-Hee (KR)

        'New in Town' runs October 7 - 28, with an opening reception on Friday October 6th, 5-8pm.

        Vertical Gallery, 2006 W Chicago Ave #1R, Chicago, IL 60622

        Danny J Martinez (aka Van Dam One) 'Leopard Brains'

        Danny J Martinez (aka Van Dam One) 'Leopard Brains'

        Vertical Gallery marks the spot for Danny J. Martinez’s solo debut ‘Leopard Brains’

        Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present ‘Leopard Brains,’ the debut solo exhibit from fast-rising painter Danny J. Martinez, a.k.a. Van Dam One.

        ‘Leopard Brains,’ which runs Sept 9-30 at Vertical Gallery’s new West Town location (2006 W. Chicago Ave. #1R — enter via the alley off Damen Ave.), features more than two dozen new paintings and sketches, all exquisitely rendered in Martinez’s colorful pop-surrealist style. Martinez will attend the exhibit’s opening, which runs from noon to 5:00 pm on Saturday, Sept. 9.

        ‘Leopard Brains’ dramatically advances Martinez’s ongoing journey of creative self-discovery, drawing on the artist’s personal experiences as well as the experiences of his community to explore and examine the world around us. The work on display fuses contemporary subjects and traditional mark-making techniques, conjuring multi-layered visual narratives that take their cues from fine art, magical-realist fiction, animation and virtually everything in between.

        “My work toes the line between more traditional, academic surrealism and more pop-influenced surrealism — more me. I’m a melting pot of a lot of different things,” Martinez says. “Storytelling is very important to me, but I never want the story to be too obvious.” 

        The title “Leopard Brains” refers to the thalamus — the egg-shaped structure in the middle of the brain that serves as the body’s relay station, processing sensory information for transmission to the cerebral cortex. The thalamus also plays a critical role in sleep, wakefulness, consciousness, learning and memory.

        “I first sketched the phrase ‘leopard brains’ years ago. I remember thinking ‘That’s a really odd pairing,’” Martinez says. “It’s the part of the brain that houses emotions. It’s also where the internal imagining trigger and urge response reside. That’s my art.”

        Joliet, Ill.-born Martinez is a relative newcomer to the art world. He drew in sketchbooks and notebooks throughout childhood, but initially pursued a career in the corporate space, toiling in IT. He reassessed his priorities and ambitions during the pandemic, and decided to quit his job and begin painting. Under the alias Van Dam One (“an inside joke inside of an inside joke,” he explains), Martinez quickly became a fixture in group shows across the Chicagoland area, appearing in close to 30 shows in 2022 alone.

        “I guess I've been trying to make up for lost time,” Martinez says. “I have been treating this entire journey like I have nothing left to lose, and like I'm going through art school one pop-up and one gallery show at a time. Every opportunity was something that I did not want to pass up, and I treated each almost as a test I needed to pass. As I put in the time and energy to continuously create new work, I slowly began to develop my own visual language.”

        Vertical Gallery patrons have previously encountered Martinez’s work via group shows including 2022’s 'Thing or Two' and this past April’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration.

        “Danny Martinez has very quickly created a style of art that is uniquely his own,” says Patrick Hull, Vertical Gallery’s founder and curator. “I remember the first time I saw his work — everyone in the Chicago art community was asking ‘Where did this guy come from?’ We’re very excited to host his first solo show.” 

        Danny J Martinez (aka Van Dam One)
        'Leopard Brains'
        September 9 - 30, 2023
        Opening day: Sat Sept 9, noon-5pm
        Vertical Gallery, 2006 W Chicago Ave #1R, Chicago

        2CHOEY "Sorry I can't talk right now"

        2CHOEY "Sorry I can't talk right now"

        Vertical Gallery is very proud to present “Sorry I can’t talk right now”, the first USA solo show from Thai artist 2CHOEY. The exhibition is July 8 – 29, 2023 with an opening day reception on Saturday July 8, noon-5pm.

        “Sorry I can’t talk right now” addresses situations in life that may be dangerous, unsafe, or uncomfortable. Known for painting hands as the characters faces, this show explores the artist having the characters use hand signs when they cannot use sound. The theme of the work follows his critical, politically neutral outlook on society.

        2CHOEY is a Bangkok based self-taught artist. With a background in Urban Architecture, 2CHOEY was an art director in an ad agency. He soon started selling paintings and realized he enjoyed painting more than working in advertising. 2CHOEY’s signature characters, ‘Fingies’, reinterprets pop culture icons within the framework of hands, fists and fingers in his playful and very unique style.

        His career took off while living and working in Melbourne, Australia a few years ago. His colorful pop-art inspired work was an instant hit within the Melbourne art scene. Since then every work has sold out from Taipei, Miami, Berlin, Hong Kong, Oslo, Bangkok, Chicago and Melbourne. His work has featured in many publications, including the National Geographic, Lürzer’s Archive, Designboom, and Ads of the world.

        2CHOEY’s has participated in several group shows at Vertical Gallery, and this is his first solo show in the United States.

        “Sorry I can’t talk right now”
        July 8 – 29, 2023
        Opening day: Saturday July 8, noon-5pm
        Vertical Gallery, 2006 W. Chicago Ave #1R, Chicago

        Wag Your Tail!

        Wag Your Tail!

        Vertical Gallery presents "Wag Your Tail!" a charity art show to benefit One Tail at a Time Shelter. The show runs August 5 - 26, 2023.

        The show features new artwork from:

        Adam Augustyn, AJ Ainscough, Ana Fuentes, Andrew Ghrist, Angel Onofre, Aris Moore, Bird Milk, Blake Jones, Conrad Javier, Cristi López, Dave De Leeuw, Delisha, DJ Auld, Graham Franciose, Hama Woods, Hannah Eddy, James Eastwood, Jerkbeard, Joseph Renda Jr., John Rego, Juliet Schreckinger, Julieta XLF, Kate Lewis, Kathie Olivas, Katie Lukes, Laura Catherwood, Liz Flores, Melissa Villarreal, Natalia Shaloshvili, Nez, Oscar Joyo, Pipsqueak Was Here!!!, Sergio Farfán, Shawnimals, Steve Seeley, Valeria Terrazas, Word to Mother, Z, and Zor Zor Zor

        About One Tail at a Time:

        One Tail at a Time makes a lifetime commitment to provide each of their homeless pets with a loving, forever home. Read all about them here:

        Join us on opening day, Saturday August 5th, from noon-5pm.

        Vertical Gallery, 2006 W Chicago Ave #1R (entrance in alley off Damen)

        Philip Bosmans “In Search of a Quiet Mind”

        Philip Bosmans “In Search of a Quiet Mind”


        Vertical Gallery is proud to present Belgian-based artist Philip Bosmans for his first USA solo exhibition. “In Search of a Quiet Mind” runs June 3 – 24, 2023, with an opening reception on Friday June 2, 5:00-8:00pm.

        Philip Bosmans (1980) currently lives in Hasselt, Belgium. He is an innovative artist who has made a name for himself with his captivating paintings. Born and raised in Bree, Philip has always had a passion for art and has honed his skills over many years of practice and experimentation. He is classically trained as a graphic designer but he’s a self-taught painter and graffiti artist with a fantasy-surrealist style which is uniquely his – a style that blends elements of street art, illustration, and contemporary painting. Philip creates pieces that are both thought-provoking and visually stunning.

        We are very excited to present this brand-new collection of work from Philip. Philip's work has been featured in group shows at Vertical Gallery over the years, as well as numerous exhibitions and galleries around the world.

        Philip Bosmans
        “In Search of a Quiet Mind”
        June 3 – 24, 2023
        Opening reception, Friday, June 2nd, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
        Vertical Gallery, 2006 W Chicago Ave. #1R, Chicago