Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists

“You talk about the Chicago imagists,” notes Scottish painter Peter Doig. “I’m not sure that I see Chicago in their work, really. I think if you’re from Chicago you do. . . . The reason why their work is of interest to others is because it transcends that place. That place represents many places to other people.” Coming near the end of Leslie Buchbinder’s new documentary, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, a careful survey of our local art scene from the 50s through the 80s, Doig’s remarks startled me because I’d been watching the entire movie from my own narrow perspective as a longtime Chicagoan. For someone on the other side of the globe, the colorful, wildly surreal works showcased in the movie may not offer much of a picture postcard of “that place”—there are no lakefronts, no gangsters, no pizza. There are nothing but bizarre, uncomfortably personal visions cultivated by hard-working, small-living, plain-speaking, idol-smashing midwesterners. To me, home sweet home. Continue reading >>