No chichi: Street art: Ho, Picasso!

Simple concrete underpasses get the art treatment in Gajin Fujita’s ChiTown.

Unnamed Picasso in Daley Plaza

There must be a special place in Chicago for the statue as I have seen skateboarders on it, a young office worker eating her lunch and young couples with cell phones shooting each other. Made out of Cor-Ten steel almost 50 years ago, Wikipedia reports, Picasso took no money for it. The cost about 300,000 in donated funds.

compoiste dubuffetNot far away, Jean Dubuffet’s Monument with Standing Beast

An interesting take on fiberglass, Dubuffet’s sculpture sits in front of a large modern glass and steel affair. Its scale becomes human and accessible at once. I have never cared much for some of the two dimensional work of Dubuffet, but I have always found his sculptures of this type to be interesting. It is fun to stand inside and obviously many others in Chicago feel the same way, by the graffiti you will find.cta0

cta1cta2cta4cta3cta5Passageway from the CTA to Midway: A gallery

Even leaving the subway and going on about a 2 block walk to Midway in an enclosed corridor, Chicagoans get a taste of different art, from community to Herring inspired paintings and graphics to a juvenile art show. This is intriguing that a city would take the time out, to offer this cultured fare to its community by showcasing artworks.

2 imagesWalks along the Navy Pier could involve a Lichtenstein, the modernism of the skyline or the beauty of the machine age via ferris wheels and neon, or smart advertising (left). Likewise, a change from the Loop to underground offers endless possiblities (right).

Lines in Chicago blur from public to commercial art, but Chicago interestingly counterpoints a very, visual city like NYC. New York always like to think of itself as the center of advertising via Mad Avenue, but it was Chicago who produced the great TV commercials of the 70s and 80s, and who always had a strong eye for display. Along the streets, Chicago distinguishes  it own very cerebral sensibilities and reflects its own visual style.

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