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  • Past
  • Heidi Martin Kuster: New Works on Paper

    Heidi Martin Kuster: New Works on Paper

    9.14.12 - 10.26.12 



    Heidi Martin Kuster is a career expat currently living and working in Paris with her family.  Her paintings are heavily influenced by earth, water, and the effects that the elements have on the environment - both fleeting and permanent. 

    Kuster's exhibition, "New Works on Paper", meets at the apex of her regular travels and environmental observations.  The smaller scale of these works on paper allowed her to begin each work on-site, with locations ranging from North Carolina, to the Bahamas, to the waters of France. The (12) paintings, all gouache on paper, vary from single image examinations of wet rocks viewed under a microscope, to representations of massive boulder trails, to wash layered diptychs and triptychs following water ripples to the end of the paper.

    In her own words, Heidi talks about the series:

    Our earth is covered by water, sand, soil, and ice. In this series I have studied water, its cycle, and the marks it makes in its repetition.  Looking longer, I once again found impressions in surface notations…the stuff that sticks and holds in the circuit of water. The notations in a rock, or a shell, are formed constantly, eroded and created again. This infinite process holds my attention and defines the compositions in these paintings. 

    -Heidi Martin Kuster

  • Chris Crites: American Psycho -  Financial Terrorists.

    Chris Crites: American Psycho - Financial Terrorists.

    3.23.12 - 4.27.12 5.19.12 [EXTENDED]

    For over a decade, Chris Crites has been known for his hand painted four and five-color portraits of vintage mug shots that are meticulously rendered on brown paper bags.

    In collaboration with 360SEE, Crites has been known to stray from mid-century subjects and paint portraits of contemporary high-profile criminals.  As a follow up to his highly publicized Pay-To-Play series, featuring portraits of disgraced former Illinois Governors and a political fundraiser, Crites has now explored the corruption in the financial sector with the series American Psycho - Financial Terrorists. 

    This new series consists of (4) 4x5” hand painted, framed, portraits of artist-accused financial terrorists:

    Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke; CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein; former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former CEO of MF Global, former US Senator, and former Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine; and Chairman, President, and Chief Executive of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon.



    These paintings are in response to the ongoing financial crisis(es) that have been happening since the Global Financial Crisis that became painfully apparent in the 2008 global economic recession. The creation and use of complex financial products coupled with undisclosed conflicts of interest and the failure of regulators and credit rating agencies or even "the market" itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street led to disaster not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930's.

    The 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. Banks then developed insane new products to sell and trade during the same time a bubble emerged in the real estate market. For years these crimes had been allowed to continue by large banks and the people who were entrusted to police them.

    My main body of work is based on mug shot photographs. The players in this ongoing financial quandary are so powerful that I doubt they will be held to account and that we would ever see real mug shots from real arrests of these people. I am however presenting some of the parties still standing for what they are, insane, criminal sociopaths.

    -Chris Crites

  • Eric Bessel - I'll Be Your Father

    Eric Bessel - I'll Be Your Father

    2.17.12 - 3.31.12

    Eric Bessel's newest series of photographs, titled I'll Be Your Father, consist of a series of (15) Kombucha "mother" portraits grown by Bessel over a one year period.


    I’ll Be Your Father is a selection of recent photographs, which explore the curious produce from a home-grown kombucha farm in my Brooklyn apartment. Over the course of a year, I played host to a family of enormous parasitic ‘mothers,’ most commonly found dormant in refrigerated bottles of store-bought kombucha. I discovered that a mother left at room temperature, along with some sweet tea, comes alive. As part of this transformative process, a miracle vitamin elixir is left behind.

    Finding myself hooked, I set out determined to become a suitable host. In what seemed like no time at all, my kitchen cupboard’s shelves began to resemble a vitrine filled with jars of new kombucha mothers at various stages of development. On weekend mornings, I photographed this growing family, as eastern light flooded into my kitchen.

    -Eric Bessel


    • All (15), I'll Be Your Father, photographs will be available individually as 20" x 20" C-Prints in signed and numbered editions of (3).
    • (50) boxed sets of the entire series will be available. The boxed series will include all (15) C-Type 'mother' portraits at 8" x 8" along with a pair of cotton white gloves, archival separating sheets, and a titled, signed, and numbered archival presentation box. 
    • A catalog featuring all (15) portraits, an artist statement by Eric Bessel and essays by Jordan Witkov and Kenneth White will supplement the exhibition.


    When Eric Bessel first approached me about a new series of photographs that he was working on, documenting his year as a Brooklyn apartment kombucha farmer, I was intrigued but had no idea what to expect.

    Wrinkled, gum-like, highly textured, pitted, plastic sheen studies – is what Bessel delivered with his series of 15 kombucha ‘mother’ cultures, playfully titled, I’ll Be Your Father.

    Cycling through the series, the ‘mother’ cultures evolve both in complexity of form and intensity of color. The earliest pieces in the series are waxy, smooth, and milky in color. As the series progresses, the subjects take on more textural depth with roadways of veins, crevasses, and channels and a rich rusted red color.

    While this series is a departure from Bessel’s character study portraits, looking at “I’ll Be Your Father” it is hard not to get lost in the expression of each individual bacterial subject. As you search deeper into each piece they can take on the appearance of exaggerated human-like masks that are filled with expression. I’ll Be Your Father serves as a brief record of Bessel’s life, giving insight to his homeopathic hobby and documentary process. As a curated series, the grouping provides a wonderful textural examination of organic growth, while individually each ‘mother’ has the personality and character of Bessel’s human portraits.

    -Jordan Witkov Director, 360SEE

    For advanced viewings of any of the pieces, press images, or other questions please contact 360SEE.
  • New3 [Site, Designer, Works]

    New3 [Site, Designer, Works]
    11.11.11 - 12.31.11
    New3 [Site, Designer, Works] highlights the newest developments at 360SEE: completion of our new website, new representation of designer Veronika Wildgruber, and new works by gallery artists Curtis Frillmann, Grassland, Luke Haynes, and Brian Mock.

    We are very excited to officially introduce the work of German designer Veronika Wildgruber to 360SEE. Her Softwood Series is clever in both name and design, referencing classic vintage upholstered designs that she creates out of wood. Each piece is part of a signed, limited edition series of 250 that is made-to-order with hand carved maple and black painted steel legs.

    New3 [Site, Designer, Works] also includes work by gallery favorites with new oil, acrylic, enamel, and rust on metal landscapes by Curtis Frillmann; newly available organic design objects by Grassland; representational quilts by Luke Haynes; and reclaimed metal sculptures by Brian Mock.
  • HeidiMartinKuster Selected Works, 2007-2010

    HeidiMartinKuster Selected Works, 2007-2010
    02.15.11 - 03.18.11
    Select works by Heidi Martin Kuster will be on display online, in Chicago, and Paris in conjunction with the 360SEE publication of Heidi Martin Kuster's book HeidiMartinKuster Select Works, 2007-2010. Contact 360SEE for information on Chicago and Paris viewings.

    At first blush the work of Heidi Martin Kuster can read as abstract or non-representational, but her paintings are as conceptually considered as they are adeptly executed. Whether with her large oil paintings focusing on hyper-magnified pebbles or her smaller gouache on paper pieces deconstructing the smallest geological forms to create grids with the feel of vast aerial cartography, Kuster's work is nothing if not reflective on the origin, evolution, and impact of time on the world through her eyes.
    She explores painting with a reverence to nature not only as a subject but also within her process. Each gestural marking and stroke of the brush references the marks placed upon the world by both nature and humankind.
    Kuster displays a natural connection to her media. She relies on the texture and character of the canvas, wood, and handmade paper upon which she creates. Just as the evolution of one of Kuster's oblong polished stone subjects was influenced over time by nature and environment, elements of her paintings are dictated by the texture of thread, grain, and pulp. These paintings tell the not-often-told history of the world found in each pebble kicked down the road by wind, storm, child, and short sight.

    -Jordan Witkov Director, 360SEE
  • Doorbusters

    11.26.10 - 1.1.11
    "In our society, daily experience teaches the individual to want and need a never-ending supply of new toys..."
    -Christoper Lasch, American Historian

    This holiday season 360SEE explores childhood holiday themed consumption as seen through the work of artists that choose to work in more sustainable media.

    Work includes a wide array of pieces from artist interpretations of classic dolls and figurines, to a 4' tall ceramic robot wired for sound, to candy inspired jewelry pieces, to children-at-play themed collage book illustrations, to embroidered Pez superhero portraits, to wearable art, and more...
    Featuring the work of Amy Arnold, Alejandro Chavetta, Jennifer Khoshbin, David Todd Trost, Clint Van Gemert, Alexandra Walters, and Rebecca Zemans.
  • Big Time - Large paintings by Chris Crites

    Big Time - Large paintings by Chris Crites
    11.26.10 - 1.1.11
    For the last ten years Chris Crites has been known for his tightly rendered and flawlessly detailed four color mug shot portraits hand painted on brown paper bags and for the last two years 360SEE has persuaded Crites to create enormous versions of his portraits.

    Big Time features three large, 41.5" x 57.5", painted mug shot portraits on deconstructed lawn waste bags. Crites revisits a familiar source for subjects for these paintings choosing from accused criminals via the mid-century archives of Kitsap County, Washington.
  • On the floor & On the wall [2]

    On the floor & On the wall [2]
    9.2.10 - 10.16.10
    In response to the success of last year's show, On the wall & On the floor, 360SEE is returning with the annual design exhibition. Each artist and designer participating in On the wall & On the floor [2] has created a free standing or table top piece and a piece for the wall.
    All of the pieces on display in some way embrace the sustainably-minded media-choice philosophy of the gallery showing works constructed with reclaimed, repurposed, responsibly sourced, and even living materials.

    Architect and designer Kara Bartelt creates design objects incorporating living air plants into her pieces. Bartelt is exhibiting both a functional lamp and decorative wall piece with living air plant elements.

    Designer Joel Hester continues to show his modern furniture pieces made of reformed vintage car metal and steel at 360SEE. Hester is exhibiting a coffee table made from the hood of a mid-century Chevy truck and a wall covering collage of Chevy truck metal pieces.

    Furniture maker and artist Jesse Hooker creates functional works out of reclaimed wood and has started to incorporate metal into his pieces. Hooker is exhibiting a mirror and console pair made of reclaimed English Sycamore and salvaged iron. The pieces, titled Scholes and Bogart, were named after the intersecting streets from where the iron for the pieces were sourced.

    Designer Leo Kempf, an "On the wall & On the floor" veteran, has traded in his cardboard furniture designs for newly designed pieces made of FSC certified Birch and repurposed tires. Kempf created a rocking recliner upholstered with tension woven reclaimed tire strips and a wall mantle inlaid with tire treads.

    Fine art, functional art, and design pieces will also be on display by gallery represented artists and designers.
  • 2nd Anniversary Show - 3rd year, 3 artists, 3 media

    2nd Anniversary Show - 3rd year, 3 artists, 3 media
    7.17.10 - 8.20.10
    360SEE is proud to be presenting work by 3 artists new to the gallery in 3 different media for the start of our 3rd year.

    Eric Bessel:
    Brooklyn photographer Eric Bessel's daily commute and shuffle of the workday often puts him staring at the backsides of people's heads. His newly completed series of photographs, grass / hair , explores the similarities in captured moments of wind-combed marsh grass and the parts and tufts of hair on the back of people's heads. Bessel observed: "It [the grass] looked like hair. Lots of hair blowing effortlessly in the wind. Cowlicks, greasy matted hair, stringy dry desperate hair ... emerging only for a moment, then fading away into the blades of dead grass."

    Stephanie Dueck:
    Metal sculptor Stefanie Dueck creates fine art, jewlery, and one-of-a-kind flatware out of her Vancouver studio. Working in lost wax casting, hot forged steel, welding, and further trained as a blacksmith, Dueck's sculptures often focus on the relationship between animals, material, and environment.

    Heidi Martin Kuster:
    Chicago trained painter Heidi Martin Kuster currently resides with her family and creates art in Paris after relocating from Barcelona via the United States.

    The exhibited series of work by Kuster focuses on geological forms starting from a micro focus such as small pebbles and rocks developing into images that evoke the feel of vast aerial cartography. The pieces in this series are an assemblage of gouache painted tree-free paper and consumer plastic and aluminum from organic food containers. Kuster notes that in her work she is, "simply taking note of the notations that we are making on the earth, and recognizing the chemical impact of human existence."

    Work by gallery represented artists from the last 2 years will also be on display.

    "Thank you for your enthusiasm, patronage, interest, and support of 360SEE over the last two years. We look forward to the future of 360SEE and the continued awareness of the inspiring fine and functional art consistent with the gallery's sustainably-minded media-choice philosophy."
    -Jordan Witkov Director, 360SEE
  • (Not So) New Shoes - Official Earth Day 2010 Event

    (Not So) New Shoes - Official Earth Day 2010 Event
    4.23.10 - 5.31.10
    This year's annual 360SEE Earth Day Show, (Not So) New Shoes - Official Earth Day 2010 Event is the first solo show of self-described junk art sculptor Gabriel Dishaw.

    Dishaw's newest series of work consist of (7) new pairs of artistically licensed 1:1 scale reproductions of collectible Nike sneakers made out of recycled computer parts, electronics, found metals, and other upcycled materials. Each pair is matched to a vintage piece of luggage that Dishaw retrofits into a custom labeled shoebox used to secure the shoes for travel and display.

    In his own words Dishaw speaks on working with found media:
    My passion for working with metal and mechanical objects has been crucial in the evolution of my art. It provides an avenue for me to express myself in a way that both satisfies my love for creating art while re-using items that would otherwise end up in a land-fill.
    I create sculptural objects that not only promote visual and tactile interest but provokes others to really appreciate how much we dispose of each day and the impact that our behavior has on our environment. I want to inspire others to think beyond the conventional route when it comes to recycling.

    From the start of the exhibition until the end of May, 360SEE will serve as a depository for old laptops, personal computers, typewriters, and other electronic components for Gabriel Dishaw to use in future sculptures. All materials deposited that are not useable by Dishaw will be properly recycled to keep as many harmful and toxic materials out of our landfills.

    In addition to Dishaw's sculptural sneakers he has also designed (3) custom wearable designs of the classic Nike shoe the Air Force One. The "Air Force One (Wired)" in Green, Orange, and Copper are available in a made-to-order limited edition of (5) pairs per design.
    All of the proceeds from Dishaw's customized Air Force One shoes will be donated to the Earth Day Network. These limited edition sneakers will be available, while supplies last, 4.16.10 - 04.22.10 at St. Alfred sneaker boutique and 4.23.10 - 5.31.10 at 360SEE.

    In addition to Dishaw's sculptures, 360SEE will also be premiering the "Greenaid Dispenser" by design duo Commonstudio made up of Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud. Commonstudio has created (3) varieties of seedbombs specifically for 360SEE with species indigenous to the Chicagoland area.

    The opening of this year's annual Earth Day Show "(Not So) New Shoes" is an Official Earth Day 2010 Event. In recognition of the sustainable minded curatorial philosophy of the gallery, 360SEE and director Jordan Witkov were recently recognized by Earth Day Network as part of their "Artist for the Earth" 40th Anniversary Earth Day initiative.
  • Arrested Moments - Portraits by Chris Crites

    Arrested Moments - Portraits by Chris Crites
    3.19.10 - 4.20.10
    For the last ten years Chris Crites has been known for his tightly rendered and flawlessly detailed four and five color portraits hand-painted on brown paper bags.

    Crites' new series for 360SEE, titled Arrested Moments, consists of (8) painted portraits of accused criminals from early 20th century Australian mug shots. The new series is joined by (3) recently completed portraits of mug shots from Kitsap County, WA, a familiar source of material for Seattle based Crites.

    In addition to Crites' wonderful color choice combinations and phenomenal technical skill the relationship between his 'otherwise-disposable' media choice and subject matter is equally compelling.

    In his own words, Chris Crites describes his work:
    Looking at mug shots is not too dissimilar from looking at someone's school year book from the past. Those captured moments when the camera seizes the expression; be it indifferent, indignant, arrogant, embarrassed, terrified. These are the photos from graduating into another stage of life. Was this the outfit they wanted to be remembered in? Were they just wishing no one would ever see it?
    This is why I am fascinated by mug shots, looking into a special moment in someone else's world. All those different stories. All those different reasons for ending up in front of the camera, like it or not.

    -Chris Crites
  • Metal v Wood

    Metal v Wood
    2.5.10 - 3.11.10
    New works by Portland, Oregon metal sculptor Brian Mock are featured opposite new wood relief wall coverings by Chicago artist Matthew Hoffman. Mock and Hoffman's pieces share the space with other works by gallery represented artists splitting the gallery down the line in a segregation of media -- Metal v Wood.
  • Moon Men Analog Collages by Alejandro Chavetta

    Moon Men Analog Collages by Alejandro Chavetta
    12.18.09 - 2.7.09
    Alejandro Chavetta's new series of analog collage pieces titled Moon Men presupposes that man never really landed on the moon and that the entire charade was done in the name of national pride.

    In a time where the motives of the United States are increasingly questioned in relation to money, power, and moral superiority, Chavetta readily sees parallels between his new work and current international policy.
  • Iron Pastorals paintings by Curtis Frillmann

    Iron Pastorals paintings by Curtis Frillmann
    11.6.09 - 12.15.09
    Known for his recycled paintings, in this new series of work Curtis Frillmann employs salvaged sheet metal to create canvases that evoke the memory of Chicago's farmland roots on formed remnants of today's industrialized world. Frillmann builds up surfaces on formally constructed found metal canvases to reflect the struggle of savage and urbane forces and to illustrate the influence man has over the land.

    In Frillmann's words, Iron Pastorals are, "paintings of rural and natural scenes on discards objects of industry and culture." The title of the series of work was inspired by a book of poetry by almost the same name, The Iron Pastoral published in 1947 by Chicago poet John Frederick Nims. Like other writers of the time, Nims observed how Chicago had outgrown the prairie and lakeshore, expanding into a discordant field of buildings and commerce.

    Frillmann explains, "By recycling objects, themes and even the title of the show, I express how contemporary images and objects can mingle with traditional forms, just as the modern world today mingles so closely with the natural world. I confront the idea of what is valuable in our society. While my work shows an underlying concern for our environment, it also seeks to reveal something beautiful. Thus, the multidimensionality of materials, overall image, and message reflect my aim to unveil layers of our reality, and to acknowledge the wonder of how things are so much more than they appear."

    Joining the Frillmann's paintings, furniture maker and artist Jesse Hooker has created (3) functional art pieces in collaboration with 360SEE. Hooker's work is created almost exclusively from reclaimed lumber and materials to create one-off modern furniture pieces.
    Eleanor and Eleanor B are a settee and bench beautifully constructed from salvaged antique yellow pine slabs masterfully married with the original back seat and interior from a 1969 Ford Mustang fastback.

    Lola is a coffee table inspired by the book Lolita by Vladamir Nabakov. The piece is also made from salvaged antique yellow pine and incorporates letterpress inlay from the first line of the novel and has a hidden drawer lined with an original photograph.
  • Quilted Portraits and Stiched Scenes

    Quilted Portraits and Stiched Scenes
    9.11.09 - 11.1.09
    Quilted Portraits & Stitched Scenes is the first exhibition at 360SEE to feature fabric and fiber artwork. While fiber art is often abstract and can feel unaccessible to many, this exhibition shows amazingly well executed fabric pieces that are approachable both in subject matter (portraits, scenes, and the depiction of representational objects) and in (painting like) presentation.

    The exhibition will feature (6) wall hanging portrait quilts by, architect and fine art quilter, Luke Haynes. Subverting the traditional quilting form by integrating modern concepts, Haynes' art transforms the comfortably familiar into the visually evocative.

    The large Haynes' quilts will be joined by embroidered / stitched pieces by Alexandra Walters and Gillian Bates.

    Montana via Kansas City based artist Alexandra (Alex) Walters, explores the identity of illness and the promises of drug marketing from the perspective of a military wife and mother with her sewn series of (5) prescriptions piece titled The Promise of Pills. These "painterly" stitched pills and bottles done in silk, cotton, and rayon floss evoke the promised mood altering result of each medicine with a well chosen found fabric background.

    English artist Gillian Bates will round out the exhibition with (3) illustrative feeling works comprised of stitched line drawings of people and scenes colored in with scrap fabrics on canvas.
  • 1st Anniversary show: Fittingly, Works on and of Paper

    1st Anniversary show: Fittingly, Works on and of Paper
    7.17.09 - 8.28.09
    1st Anniversary show: Fittingly, Works on and of Paper features works by gallery represented artists and designers all creating pieces on, of, or in some way about paper in honor of the 1st Anniversary of 360SEE.

    360SEE is celebrating its first anniversary as the premier media choice gallery exhibiting fine art, functional art, and design objects with elements of sustainability addressed in every piece either through concept or more often material construction.

    New works by gallery artists:
    Steve Bewley, Alejandro Chevatta, Chris Crites, Virginia Fleck, Curtis Frillmann, Matt Gagnon, Brian Mock, Suzanna Scott, and Patricia Swanson

    All of the pieces in this exhibition are exclusive to 360SEE and embrace the sustainable minded media choice philosophy of the gallery.
  • On the floor & On the wall

    On the floor & On the wall
    5.8.09 - 7.1.09
    On the floor and On the wall is the first exhibition at 360SEE of exclusively sculpture, three-dimensional functional art, furniture and design pieces. Each artist and designer shown in the exhibition has created: a free standing piece for the floor, a piece for the wall or a piece that interacts with both spaces.

    New works by: Matthew Hoffman of Split Brow, Leo Kempf, Lise Lefebvre, Jim Malone of Counter Evolution NYC, Brian Mock, Brian Peters of Design Lab Workshop, Noah Prince of Phosphoria Design, Piotr Woronkowicz, and more....
    All of the pieces in On the floor and On the wall are exclusive to 360SEE and embrace the sustainable minded media choice philosophy of the gallery.
  • Anatomy of a Book

    Anatomy of a Book
    3.13.09 - 5.1.09
    Anatomy of a Book: Small Works by Jennifer Khoshbin, Suzanna Scott & Patricia Swanson
    All of the works in the show, while vastly different in style and execution, address the Anatomy of a Book.

    Jennifer Khoshbin's book sculptures and book drawings explore the physical manipulation of a book's structure by carving into books to alter or accentuate a narrative, line, or word with a whimsical result. Khoshbin's music books transform books into playful auditory sculptures pairing titles like Dorthy's Travels playing Over the Rainbow. Concurrent to exhibiting at 360SEE, Khoshbin's work is featured in a group exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue Washington.

    Suzanna Scott's Doll Houses incorporate anatomical drawings from turn-of-the-century medical books and journals that she uses to construct imaginative anatomical assemblages with repurposed wood and discarded doll parts.

    Patricia Swanson, a former University of Chicago librarian, creates mixed media pieces from discarded books combining their parts to make wonderful textural collages. Swanson's work embraces the aged skin-like beauty and fragility of stained pages, discolored covers, cracked spines, broken bindings, and tattered threads -- breathing new life into titles that were otherwise destined for the trash heap.

    Fine art, functional art, furniture, and design objects by gallery represented artists and designers will also be on display in the lower level gallery.
  • Unconventional Collage Show

    Unconventional Collage Show
    1.16.09 - 3.1.09
    Unconventional Collage Show includes a variety of collage works that push the boundries of conventional collage from both local and national artists.

    The show will premier new works by reused plastic bag collage artist Virginia Fleck, new mixed-media collage paintings by Chicago artist Adam Grossi, and work by San Fransicsco artist Alejandro Chavetta that incorporates a combination of printed digital collage and vintage source material enclosed affixed inside small industrial glass windows.
  • Pay-To-Play

    1.16.09 - 3.1.09
    Pay-To-Play by Chris Crites addresses the continued corruption in Illinois politics as only he knows how... Crime is not a new subject for Crites; he has been known for his tight four-color mug shot portraits on brown paper bags since 1999.

    The series includes works titled:
    Governor Rod Blagojevich. Corruption, conspiracy. Arrested and indicted.
    Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Fraud, money laundering, bribery and 13 other federal counts. Convicted.
    Former Governor George Ryan. Racketeering, conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud, false statements to the FBI and 12 other felony charges. Convicted.

    Each portrait measures 5.5" w x 8" h plus framing and is an acrylic painting on paper bag.

    In my own artwork, I am particularly interested in portraiture. Much of my work has been based on mug shot photographs of anonymous people from the past. During last year’s election campaign many people asked me to paint portraits of Barack Obama. I declined these offers because it seemed that not only were so many other artists painting Obama, but I generally shy away from directly political material.

    However, when Jordan Witkov of 360SEE in Chicago, mentioned the idea of painting Governor Rod Blagojevich and two of Illinois convicted political players, (George Ryan and Tony Rezko) I couldn’t resist. Since I knew all three had been arrested, I searched for their mug shots. That is really how I wanted them displayed. Either because they are too recent or too connected politically, the mug shots didn’t appear to be publicly available. Instead I chose Blagojevich’s Governor portrait and his smile sums up the situation quite well. These paintings will hopefully serve as a reminder that in this time of transition between administrations and the collective enthusiasm of some over the election, politics are still politics. Which is to say, politics can easily be crooked, corrupt and are a big money game. Liars lie and buyers buy. What exactly is told and sold is up to the rest of us to find out and act upon.

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
    attributed to Thomas Jefferson
    -Chris Crites
  • Hard Opening

    Hard Opening
    09.12.08 - 11.28.08
    Newly opened Bucktown gallery, 360SEE, located at 1924 North Damen Avenue is hosting it's first opening with the exhibition Hard Opening. 360SEE offers fine art, functional art, and design objects that place emphasis on sustainability through concept and material construction. 360SEE, a name born from the never-ending lifecycle of the gallery's artwork and media, is the first gallery of its kind.

    Jordan Witkov, 360SEE director, hand picks artists and designers from around the country and world bringing only exclusive offerings to the city of Chicago, the region, and the nation. 360SEE showcases sustainable-minded contemporary art, furniture, lighting and other design objects in a fine art gallery setting. The featured pieces incorporate media such as organic matter, FSC certified wood, bamboo, steel, post consumer plastic, and reclaimed materials. 360SEE is the only fine art gallery member of the Sustainable Furniture Council.

    "360SEE offers fine art and design pieces that have equal emphasis on environmentally sustainable practices," says Witkov. "I know I am getting it right when people come in and enjoy the art on its own merit and pick up on the sustainable undertones as they work their way through the gallery."