The second installment of an annual design show that endeavors to map the ever narrowing space between fine art and commercial design. The show’s run will be punctuated by Friday evening events with a rotating cast of notable speakers.
Last August Andrew Rafacz opened its West Loop doors to a summer flood of design heads, art students and collectors who made Public Works Chicago‘s most celebrated design show of 2009. Time Out Chicago called Public Works an “awesome art and design exhibition;” Flavorpill touted it as “a chance to see great, tastemaking design and to explore its broader relationship to commerce and community.” New City ranked it “best design show of 2009.” In 2010 the artists of Public Works II uphold the show’s mantra beautifully: “Art makes work, work makes art.” Both in their art and their attendant values these artists work tirelessly to sustain cultural entities. They blanket space with meaning and convert square footage into bold proclamations. The music world reaps the rewards of Sonnenzimmer‘s subtle, painterly gig posters while the apparel industry appropriates Mike Perry‘s electric zine hallucinations into backpacks and Nike dunks. Both Dan Funderburgh and Seripop explore the limits of spatial adornment, Dan through the design of delicately intricate wallpaper that balances Moorish mosaic with American op art, and Seripop via enormous street poster collages, a medium they have evolved from their monstrous rock posters and describe as “the ‘skin’ of a city, growing and shedding organically.” The show is a reminder that there is no saturation point for our graphic declarations. Our environment is shaped by our passing, its structure set in relief by the marks we leave on it.