As an artist Wayne White is known for his paintings of faux 3D visual text over second-hand, mass-produced lithographs. The seminal aspect of photography for Toni Hafkenscheid is it closely resembles reality. The inspiration for Steve Armstrong's Puzzle Keychain is the 5 & dime store and it's contents. In the boring desert of the 50's the dime store was a colorful oasis.
Wayne White / Spark in the Void
As an artist Wayne White is known for his paintings of faux 3D visual text over second-hand, mass-produced lithographs. Non-sequitur phrases, and distorted advertising blurbs are executed Ruscha-esque style into inside jokes and non–jokes. The result is stimulating with the juxtaposition of painting versus text. In addition to his activities as a visual artist, White has acted as illustrator and cartoonist for several publications, and as director, producer, writer, designer, and puppeteer for Pee-wee’s Playhouse. He is also well known for his commercial work and music videos, including art direction for the Smashing Pumpkins music video Tonight Tonight, and art direction for Peter Gabriel’s music video Big Time. Wayne White lives and works in LA. A full color monograph on the artist is available, produced and edited by Todd Oldham. We are very excited for White’s solo debut in Chicago. Wayne White / courtesy Western Project / Los Angeles
Toni Hafkenscheid / Relics of the Future
The seminal aspect of photography for Toni Hafkenscheid is it closely resembles reality. Although somewhat obvious, Hafkenscheid explores what constitutes fact versus fiction by blurring the limits between reality and illusion. For this exhibition, he plays with the illusion of reality versus fiction by utilizing a shallow depth of field to make some parts of the image appear soft and other parts in focus. The colors in the photographs are also tweaked to look like old postcards. For this new series Relics of the Future he explores our erstwhile visions of an Ameri- can future as seen from a 1950’s/60’s point of view. He’s looking at structures built in that era, representing an idealized view of a future with it’s belief in technology, a sense of optimism, and a promise of better days ahead. These photographs symbolize that American dream and a feeling of progress, success, and power. Hafkenscheid captures an excitement he felt as a child about his subjects, while at the same time realizing that now, almost half a century later those structures are relics of a future that never came to pass.
Steve Armstrong / Puzzle Keychain
The inspiration for Puzzle Keychain is the 5 & dime store and it's contents. In the boring desert of the 50's the dime store was a colorful oasis. They have mostly disappeared but Armstrong’s memories are clear and present. Lead and plastic soldiers, rubber balls, baseballs and bats, squirt guns, cheap pocketknives, cap pistols, toys from Japan, and parakeets were always in stock. If it was worth having it was probably there. The sculptures for this show are a series of key chain puzzles that could be found at "Ben Franklin's. These were of course made of cheap colorful plastic, and could be had .... for a nickel or a dime. This tribute is much more elaborate. The oversize sculptures are all made out of wood as a sort of tribute to the dying breed of 50's fathers and grandfathers who had a woodshop in the basement and turned out things as impractical as puzzle key chains!
Reception Friday, January 13th 5 - 8 PM
Packer Schopf Gallery
942 W. Lake St Chicago
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00am to 5:30pm