Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top 3 Chicago Shopping Districts

Chicago is a city that will never equal the city I love most but in many points it reminds me of London. Each neighborhood has its own atmosphere : bohemian chic, undergound, posh downtown... Here is an overview of what you can find :

Lincoln Park

On our first sunday morning, my sister had the brilliant idea to go to a gospel session. A detail we haven't thought about was it was the Thanksgiving weekend and that the mass will last longer (4hours).  Going back home after this nightnare we've passed through Lincoln Park where from my window I could see beautiful vintage shops but did not have the courage to venture myself this day. It's about 20 minutes in taxi from dowton and 40 by tube, it's full of very classy vintage shops. Prices range from $20 to $2000 so you better have to dig deep to find an affordable and beautiful piece (my sister bought a wonderful cream dress with a sheer lace for $35) but as it is the case in Notting Hill vintage shops and in Brighton >Click here to read Brighton Ruby Clouds< it's not the chaos, all the items are previously selected. 


Michigan Avenue and State St are the main arteries of shopping central. Michigan Avenue starts from the gold coast (the most posh aera of the city) to the loop (the centre of the centre). It took me a day to understand that my mum only knew Michigan Avenue to shop even if she comes every year since 1994. However, even if it's not my favorite kind of shopping we still can find some pieces of heaven. Just like this Topshop dress that was on sale and looks like an ancient princess dress and my sister's rings which you'd think out of Buffy against vampires. But the store that impressed me most was the Victoria's Secret one. The temple of lingerie which brings out the slut that lies deep inside. After few hours choosing the right match between fluorescent panties we go out smelling candy with big boobs.

Wicker Park / Damen Avenue

Probably the best place in Chicago. Take the blue line from the Loop and enter in the most creative area of Chicago. As for the parallel with London, it clearly reminds the east. Very cheap vintage shops, factory stores, record shops, graffiti walls....Astrid bought a Karl Lagarfeld perfect black coat for $40 and I bought the dress of my dream for $30. This dress is the exact balance between a wild leopard and a Walt Disney princess.  I will never grow up. Never.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Irving Stenn Jr. Drawings Collection

My mother went to Chicago every year since I was little and came back everytime with a christmas spirit filled with magic and fairy lights. She's going there for the RSNA (Radiological Society North America), a medical society displaying the latest technologies in medical imagery and welcoming 60 000 radiologists from all over the world. I've always wanted to see this city and this big convention in real so this is why I chose this year to acompany my mum with my sister. I had such a great time there and  I'll write many posts on exhibions I've done, shopping areas and other beautiful walks made between vertical grounds.

This one is about the Irving Stenn Jr. Drawings Collection exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute. At first, I found the museum layout very strange. It was organised according the collectors and not the art movements as it is usually done in Europe. So I came up with a serious a priori on the role of money in the cultural institutions in the U.S. But at the end of the visit, I totally changed my mind. Organizing the work according to the collectors provides a reading grid, an editorial line that can more easily decipher the relationship between artworks of a same period. I may be as much enthusiastic as I share Irving Steen tastes in conceptual drawing...

Nam June Paik - Tv Dream/Dream TV, 1963
Nam June Paik is one of the artist that first considered media as an area of artistic researches in itself like General Idea I've already wrote on >click here< . He's also known as one of the first video artists and here is one of my favorite video he made. It's called Global Groove.
Scott Wolniak - The Sun from the Center of the Lake at Noon, 2003
Yayoi Kusama - Sun Spot, 1953
My mum and sister were not really into that exhibition. While I was transcended by the beauty of the drawings, they were sitted on the sofa until the time slips in a black hole. So I went to them and said I will tell them stories that are behind the pencil lines to make it more entertaining. I told them about Yayoi Kusama, this japanese artist that experienced an hallucination at the age of 12 in which she saw dots everywhere. Since, she kept on repeating what she saw as she had the chance to discover the beam of a parallel world. Through skeptical eyes, my mother told me "She had a vagal at 12". My sister laughed and I let them go back to the hotel and I got lost in the museum. 
Agnes Denes - Liberated Sex Machine, 1970
Anything that looks like something scientific fascinates me.
Agnes Denes - Evolution II Paradox and Essence, 1976
Sol LeWitt - The Location of a Square, Broken Line, Not-Straight Line, Arc Straight Line, Trapezoid and Parallelogram, 1976
Sol LeWitt was the first artist I heard about in my first year in art school. My art school was said to be more conceptual than the others in France which is partly true, and Sol LeWitt said to be the more conceptual of the conceptualizzzzers. During his career, he instigated several digressions from what was considered normal in art, particularly in the realm of drawing. He used to say "Ideas are already artworks". What a truth !
Sol LeWitt - 333/Seven Three-Part Variations, 1968
Ed Ruscha - Salt, 1967
Bruce Nauman - Shoulder with 3 arms (Study for Shoulder Tree), 1967
 Cy Twombly 
RIP Cy Twombly. This summer I wrote a whole article in tribute to his work so CANAL + offered me two beautiful books of his photographs when I left. What is really strange when compared to his drawings, his photographs reveal a romantic aesthetic and some kind of easy beauty, innocence and sweetness. 
 Random artist - Aesthetic mining engineer
 Random artist Part of a drawing that reminds me of a jellyfish

The Shedd Aquarium, a very boring touristic activity to do in Chicago, was doing a whole exhibition on jelly fish which I'm obsessed of > see here <. I did some very boring soporific videos of jelly fish floating. Happiness.