Posted inArts & Culture

500 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

The punishment for taking photographs in Iran without official permission can be as severe as imprisonment and torture. But the organizer of “Hejab Exposition”–Iranian-American Amir Normandi–was perhaps more at risk than the Iranian students he asked to take the pictures: Normandi was the one who smuggled some 500 images out of the country. Occasionally hiding […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cody Hudson

Pop art created the potential for interaction between fine art, street art, and commercial design. Chicago artist Cody Hudson continues the tradition of combining cultural legitimacy, transgression, and fashion appeal, acting as a one-man factory generating posters, CD covers, T-shirts, installations, stickers, and snowboards; naturally he’s appeared in Giant Robot magazine, the clearinghouse for avant-garde […]

Posted inMusic

Fade to Black Already

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky Question: What would you say to a band that’s just starting out on the rock scene today? Cliff Burton, former Metallica bassist: Quit! Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a new documentary currently showing at 3 Penny, teaches us that heavy metal isn’t just […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Old School But So Cool

Horst Janssen at the Chicago Cultural Center, through August 1 “Painting is dead” was the rallying cry of a generation now safely tenured. Still, traditional work is apt to attract little notice. Matted, framed, and placed under glass, drawings rendered in art-class materials like pastels, watercolors, and colored pencils are likely to evoke the outdoor […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Less Is More–Sometimes

Robyn O’Neil at Bodybuilder and Sportsman, through April 24 David Schutter at Bodybuilder and Sportsman, through April 24 David Crawford: Stop Motion Studies on the Internet Robyn O’Neil is a trained artist who cultivates a “naive” style, rendered at a stunning level of precision. In her sparsely populated, somewhat surreal snowscape drawings at Bodybuilder and […]

Posted inMusic

Slow and Low

Khanate at the Empty Bottle, March 24 Grief used to be a big part of pop music: Bessie Smith, Roy Orbison, the Shirelles, Hank Williams, Smokey Robinson, Black Sabbath. Yep, Black Sabbath. Early Sabbath songs bitterly mourned the godless vapidity of the modern world, often at an appropriately funereal tempo. And though adrenaline- and testosterone-fueled […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fever Dreams

Daniel Barrow at ThreeWalls, through March 19 A few years ago I spent an hour at a UIC graduate-student show at Gallery 400 that made me feel I was shopping at some boutique in heaven. What pulled me in was a video installation by Kirsten Stoltmann, Boys and Flowers, featuring slow-motion footage of attractive art-scene […]