The inaugural exhibition, “Elephant with an Attitude,” features four Chicago-based artists engaging with notions of absurdity, contemporary surrealism, and the uncanny.
In the paintings of Omar Velazquez, signifiers sourced from his life as a musician and his Caribbean roots are mingled in dream-like scenes, suggestive of an internal narrative that has one foot in the real world and the other on a different plane. So too do the works of the late Art Paul (1925 – 2018) provide glimpses of inner monologues, with his signature “head” drawings accompanied by the artist’s own shrewd, written annotations.
Salvador Dominguez and Judy Natal both find moments of humor and oddity in the concrete. In these selections from “Machines of Loving Grace,” Natal photographs robots, both functional and fictional; isolated and recontextualized, the robots’ unnerving, approximated humanness is what resonates. With works like a cast bronze 5 gallon bucket “side table,” and a custom upholstered, upside-down wheelbarrow “chair,” Dominguez’s sculptural practice revels in the irony at the intersection of high- and low-culture.