Posted inArts & Culture

An artistic life

“I always said I was going to be an artist,” Kay Hofmann says. “It’s all I was interested in.” The 90-year-old artist has a startlingly clear statement of purpose: to make art, primarily hand-carved stone sculptures, no matter what. And she has done exactly that, creating countless works over her long and storied career, just […]

Posted inArt Feature

Spell casting

A sigil is a symbol believed to have supernatural powers. In Simiya, an Islamic branch of occult practice, letters and numbers are arranged into sigils in order to conjure up metaphysical powers, like the ability to fly or to disappear. Artist Maryam Taghavi has long been drawn to these sigils, and other magic-imbued symbols, ornamented […]

Posted inCity Life

Best abolition-oriented mutual aid project

Chicago Community Jail Support is one of many vital mutual-aid groups that sprung up following the 2020 murder of George Floyd, as local protests against racism and police brutality resulted in mass arrests of demonstrators. The all-volunteer effort aims to support anyone being released from Cook County Jail, the majority of whom are discharged with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Best NSFW nihilistic queer punk artist

Chaos reigns in the artwork of Mony Nuñez, aka Mony Kaos. Drawing from the aesthetics of Tom of Finland, anarcho-punk iconography, vintage gay porn, and cutesy cultural figures like Betty Boop, Kaos’s NSFW compositions—which take the form of screenprints, air-brushed banners, fliers, zines, ceramics, T-shirts, hooked rugs, and illustrations—explode with color and attitude. In her […]

Posted inCity Life

Perfection from the pieces

If you’ve ever dabbled in woodworking, you probably have a sense of just how much scrap material can go to waste. Lumber is sold in predetermined sizes, like the ubiquitous 2×4, so once you have the cuts you need, you’re likely to end up with various odds and ends that are hard to put to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The next Great Migration

There were 18 extreme weather events with losses in excess of $1 billion in the U.S. last year, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. There was the heat dome in the southwest in September, which put more than 61 million people under extreme heat advisories and broke heat records in California. There were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Present absence

“Regarding the Missing Objects,” a group exhibition on view at the Hyde Park Art Center, takes absence as its theme. There is the absence of one of the artists whose work is included in the show, Dana Carter, who died before the exhibition opened. Then there are the missing objects of the show’s title, a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ways of seeing

Stepping into “Exact Dutch Yellow” is like finding a cool spot of shade on a scorching hot day. The light in the darkened fourth-floor galleries mainly comes from the work itself, LED- and neon-lit installations that seem to play tricks before our eyes.  The exhibition plumbs the history of color classification, a subject that seems […]