Dmitry Samarov: In Taverns
Hume Chicago, March 18-April 16
Opening reception: 6-10 PM, Saturday, March 18
“I’ve been drawing in bars since before I was allowed to drink. Like coffee shops, subway cars, and any number of other public gathering places, taverns allow an artist to observe without necessarily being observed. Bars are neither home nor work, they are third places, where people gather to make community. Because they are engaged with others or with their own thoughts, people in bars make for great subject-matter. But what of the rooms themselves?
Over the past five years I’ve been taking my paints to my favorite haunts. I set up in different parts of the room each time and try to catch some of the atmosphere and feel of these places which play host to so many different kinds of people night in and night out. The three taverns (Rainbo Club, Skylark, and Bernice’s Tavern) portrayed in these paintings are ones I know well. Each has played a part in my personal history and there’s no way that bits and pieces of that history don’t make it into the pictures in some way….
The paintings in this show may not directly address themes like gentrification but they definitely record specific places at specific times and thus cannot help but reflect the changes which make themselves felt nearby. The three taverns portrayed in these pictures are in three neighborhoods which are each at a different point of transition. Whether bars like these survive will determine whether these neighborhoods continue to be their own places or become cookie-cutter subdivisions no different than any other. These paintings are a way to pay tribute to particular places in particular times with the hope that they don’t disappear anytime soon.”
Dmitry Samarov writes and paints in Chicago, IL.