Artist Phil Gayter captures our collective pandemic years through masked portraits. Maskeraid is a poignant and whimsical reflection on mask-wearing in the age of COVID-19. Gayter explores the people that surround him during the pandemic through glimpses of day-to-day lives captured through the ubiquitous nature of the masks they were wearing.
“I decided to do a self-portrait, painting myself with bright yellow gloves and an N95 mask. That was the start, it was going to be a one-off. As the pandemic was setting in, I was spending more and more time at home, I had my daughter over, and I did a portrait of her in a mask. The mask proved to be that point of distinction, allowing me to think of a collection of paintings that capture the moment, poignant yet whimsical.”
Inspirations for the paintings came to Gayter through everyday snapshots: his son whose glasses steamed up while wearing a mask, to a couple hugging each other, demonstrating absolute love through the material covering their faces. Driven to capture as many moments as possible, Gayter completed the series of 24 acrylic paintings in eighteen months. Including friends, family, and hospital workers, Maskeraid is an homage to the first responders who supported us through this unprecedented time.
About the Artist: Phil Gayter graduated with a BA in Communications from Manchester Metropolitan University where he specialized in illustration and painting as well as advertising. He came to the US to work with ad giant Leo Burnett where he was responsible for some of the most enduring campaigns in the last 20 years. While pursuing his career he has also been a prolific painter showing in many galleries in Illinois as well as Kansas, D.C., and his homeland, England. He works in a number of styles from classic landscapes to collaborative campaigns with his identical twin exploring the connections between twin artists, to his latest work Maskeraid. This exhibition was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times and he will have 3 pieces hanging in the lobby of the new Sinai Hospital.
About the Contemporary Art Program: This exhibition is presented as part of the Museum’s Contemporary Art Program, “Anatomy in the Gallery.” The Museum supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in surgical science and our relationship to the body.
About the Museum: The International Museum of Surgical Science, a Division of the International College of Surgeons, was founded in 1954 by Dr. Max Thorek. The Museum is committed to enriching lives by enhancing an appreciation and understanding of the history, development, and advances in surgery and related subjects in health and medicine. The Museum is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood and is housed in a historic lake-shore mansion designed in the early 20th century by Howard Van Doren Shaw.
Hours and Admission: The exhibition will be open Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., except for most major holidays. Admission rates are $18 for adults and $14 for students, educators, military members, and seniors, with ID.