Cartoonists and Homebodies

One of the great things about living in a city like Chicago is that you have access to all kinds of amazing cultural institutions and museums. The other thing about living in a city, though, is that when you live there, you tend to take those places for granted. If you’re a tourist it’s a no-brainer to go visit the world class attractions in the place you’re visiting. Me, though, I sometimes forget to visit the places that make Chicago so great. Case in point: my recent visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art after a good four years away.

We went down to check out Modern Cartoonist, the Daniel Clowes exhibit. I’d heard mixed reviews and though I went through a phase where I read quite a bit of his work, I’m no super fan, but seeing his paintings up close (and that’s what his panels are– paintings) was absolutely fascinating: the detail and sureness of his brushwork, the shocking lack of mistakes he went back to cover up, and just the nitty gritty technique of making pictures. If you’re around Chicago, I would highly recommend checking it out– the show’s up through October.

Also cool to see the new sculpture in the plaza. I like it better that the crazy steel rotating Mothers that was there last.I was also pleasantly surprises with the Homebodies exhibit that’s up right now– it closely rivaled the Daniel Clowes for my favorite part of the visit. The work featured is an examination of the meaning of home, and there was a great mix of takes– feminist exploration of women’s role in the home, a number of photographic attempts to capture home (people inside, views from above, views from outside, etc) and, probably my favorite, a recreation of an artist’s parent’s living room in Humboldt Park where his mother runs a nail salon. The image below is a shot of the wallpaper from the room, where they’re also holding actual nail art sessions during the run of the show.

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