May 20th 2017

Mikie Poland: Dear Diary

@ Peanut Gallery

902 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Saturday, May 20th, from 6PM - 10PM

On view through Tuesday, June 20th

Let’s say we crash land on an alien planet. We have no recollection of how we got there. But eventually we decide to venture out and explore this foreign world…

Maybe it’s a world where punk fliers are high art and expressionist paintings make for good t-shirts. Maybe it’s a world born out of angry letters (with naughty doodles) sent from the subconscious to the frontal lobe. Maybe it’s a world full of revelations and personal epiphanies and eureka moments disguised as soda-pop logos, Seussian houseplants, other people’s dogs, smatterings of spaghetti sauce, and watercolor neon splotches with polka-dotted counterparts. Maybe all of these things are just a wink-wink to what’s really going on here: death, destruction, oppression, oblivion, globalization, commercialism, murder, and the utter hopelessness of humanity. And at the same time? Maybe what’s most powerful about this world are the secrets that it’s whispering to us: keep going, be strong, be happy, be loving, be love, keep growing, be grateful, be glad to be alive.

This is the built-in ping-pong and yin-yang of Mikie Poland’s work. Make no mistake about it: this is nothing short of a human being metaphysically arm wrestling their own existence. The world Poland creates in his work is a place where opposing ideas aren’t separate entities, they’re two sides to the same piece of ripped-out notebook paper… grotesque and hilarious, horrifying and arousing, murderous and miraculous, divinations and dog shit.

Mikie Poland’s body-of-work was born at the corner of Sesame Street and a graveyard. And this newest collection “Dear Diary” features some of his most personal, mature, and revelatory pieces to date. Populated with kinky flora and fauna, smiley-faced people fucking in the bushes, a laundry list of brilliant insights into the human condition, and the built-in duality of themes such as life/death, calm/stress, love/despair, glue/human hair, “Dear Diary” is a visit to the lovely-terrible-gorgeous-painful-ugly-sexy-doomed-inspired world of Mikie Poland. The rest of us are just lucky that we get to explore it.

-Dakota Loesch (May 2017)

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