Pizza in the Rain 'Landscapes'
Vertical Gallery is very proud to present Pizza In The Rain 'Landscapes', which commemorates the conclusion of a 13-month-long collaborative public art project celebrating the architecture of the Windy City.
Running from November 23 through December 28, 2019, ‘Landscapes’ features work from Chicago’s Pizza In The Rain, who spearheaded the project, alongside efforts from Kate Lewis, Joseph Renda Jr., Matt Wojtan, Kirsten Valentine, Polly Jiménez, Danny Sobor, Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff and Lie. Many of the artists will attend the exhibit’s opening reception, taking place at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location from 6:00-9:00 pm on Saturday, November 23. Vertical will also offer for sale a 40-page, signed and numbered bound volume featuring art and text documenting the exhibit.
Originally launched in October 2018, the ‘Landscapes’ initiative reintroduces and reinvigorates familiar and foreign buildings, urban cityscapes and natural settings. “I asked each artist to select one landscape/place, facade or natural/urban image that has had a lasting impact on them,” said Pizza In The Rain, who handpicked all of the participants. “Once the artist decided on a landscape or place to feature, the two of us painted our separate interpretations of said place.”
Each month, Pizza In The Rain and his chosen collaborator showcased their work throughout the streets of Chicago. “All installations were unsanctioned, but done in a non-malicious fashion,” PITR noted. “I kept all the original paintings myself, and the contributing artists painted, copied and enlarged them in black and white and, finally, wheat-pasted the copies on the street. This way, once the project concluded, I could display the original paintings at Vertical Gallery, alongside a series of photos showcasing the installation of these paintings on the street. It was the most original way I could come up with to allow collectors to actually own a piece of a public art project.”
‘Landscapes’ heralds the latest collaborative public art effort organized by Pizza In The Rain, who has long drawn inspiration from creating and displaying work in non-traditional environments. The self-taught artist cut his teeth on graffiti but abandoned tagging in his mid-teens; as he grew older, he rededicated himself to drawing, painting and public art, absorbing influences including Banksy, Cleon Peterson and Borondo.
PITR continues to work almost exclusively in public spaces, with an emphasis on creating art that harmoniously interacts with its surrounding environs. In 2016, he organized ‘Paper Portraits,’ a collaborative project similar in scope to ‘Landscapes’ that brought together 10 local and international artists to create street art inspired by PITR’s mother, a freelance photographer who shot primarily in black and white for 35 years. He followed that up in 2017 with ‘Good Example,’ another collaborative public art effort, this time celebrating individuals and events whose actions positively shaped society’s future. PITR’s own figurative work has additionally adorned walls in Miami, New Orleans, Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London.
“What Pizza In The Rain is doing is very different than what anyone else is doing. He’s telling a yearlong story, and turning the streets into a true exhibition space,” said Vertical Gallery founder and owner Patrick Hull. “Because they’re wheat-paste, these pieces can last as little as a day. Others have lasted two years. You just don’t know. It’s a true street art experience.”
The Vertical exhibit and accompanying book preserve ‘Landscapes’ for posterity. “It has always been my intention to wrap up one of these projects with an exhibition, providing context and a proper conclusion to a year’s worth of painting, planning and work,” Pizza In The Rain said. “These collaborative endeavors have introduced me to so many talented painters in Chicago and abroad. My hope is that I can continue to shine a light, if only for a moment, on these expert creators and allow them to connect with our city.”
Pizza in the Rain
November 23 – December 28, 2019
Opening reception Saturday November 23, 6:00-9:00pm
Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago