‘Five Years,’ which runs from Nov. 6-24 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, caps off the first half-decade of Farfán’s professional career while introducing daring possibilities for the next phase of the artist’s evolution. The show features new canvases and sculptures as well as a unique video installation intercutting animations of Farfán’s original characters with clips from the classic cartoons, films and music videos that inspired his formative efforts.
Farfán is no stranger to Vertical audiences. The gallery first displayed his work in a 2016 holiday-themed pop-up exhibit, and included several canvases in its 2019 and 2020 anniversary shows. In late 2020, Vertical also presented ‘Looking for Dreams in a Kan of Soup,’ a solo pop-up that explored Farfán’s debt to his boyhood hero Andy Warhol while simultaneously embracing a more playful, abstract approach that escaped Warhol’s shadow altogether — an approach that informs the dazzlingly colorful, mind-bending work presented in ‘Five Years.’
Farfán was born in Peru. His family relocated to Chicago when he was seven years old; as a teen, he struggled with depression, but found refuge in art therapy — a technique that utilizes creative expression as a means to address a patient’s negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors. “Art therapy is where I started to learn how to put meaning into what I was drawing,” Farfán says. “It’s fine to be not fine. That’s what my work’s about: the fact that everyone goes through stuff. It’s up to you how you want to deal with it, and if you want to take the good route or the bad route.”
Sergio Farfan "5 Years" November 6 - 24, 2021 Opening day: Saturday, November 6, noon-6pm Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago