Join us the evening of Friday, July 8, 7-10pm for the opening of a new main gallery exhibit by Chicago-based artist Jay Ryan, plus works by Ben Chlapek (Never Sleeping).
Jay Ryan is a Chicago-based artist and musician. He learned to screenprint beginning in 1995, working under Steve Walters at Screwball Press. Jay printed posters for his own band (dianogah), his friends’ bands and the clubs they played at. Slowly, work from other clubs and other bands came in.
In 1999, Jay started The Bird Machine print shop in the basement of his apartment building, and soon hired fellow Chicago artist Mat Daly to help with the printing responsibilities, working with Jay until the end of 2007. In 2002, The Bird Machine moved to a proper commercial space in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, during which time the national poster community really took off, as reflected by Jay’s constant travel, showing posters and talking to students around the country. In 2007, The Bird Machine moved a final time, to a small building in Skokie, a near-north suburb bordering Chicago, where the print shop runs now.
In addition to his full schedule creating screenprinted gig posters and performing with dianogah, Jay publishes a good number of fine art prints every year and does occasional art exhibitions of both paintings and prints. His work has appeared in several books including two dedicated to his posters: Animals and Objects In and Out of Water: Posters by Jay Ryan, 2006-2008 and 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals and Independent Rock: The Handcrafted Art of Jay Ryan.Jay was one of the subjects of the 2012 gig-poster documentary, Just Like Being There, along with Daniel Danger and Kevin Trong.
This is Jay’s fourth exhibit at Rotofugi Gallery after previous exhibits in 2010, 2011 and 2014. We’re super excited and honored to be hosting Jay in our gallery again.
Joining Jay in the main gallery is Ben Chlapek (aka Never Sleeping). Ben is a freelance illustrator/designer/printer located in Chicago, IL. Most of his work is created with pen and ink on paper, then sometimes manipulated slightly and colored digitally to produce the desired result. Ben enjoys old signs painted by hand, club soda and analog audio recording techniques.