In an ideal world…..

In an ideal world we could show whatever artist we wanted. Subject matter, style and often most limiting, price would not matter. However, we have set up shop in Columbia, Missouri and with that come some limitations. Columbia has yet to become a mecca for the arts. We are making great strides, but jets loaded with gazillionares here to shop for their next artistic investment haven’t started showing up yet.

If we could show any artist we wanted, one of my first would be Tony Fitzpatrick (www.tonyfitzpatrick.com) of Chicago. I first saw his work in Art In America. I thought it was cool, but for some reason it didn’t stick. Then, by chance, we caught an exhibit of his work at the Chicago Cultural Center. I was mesmerized. Tony creates these intricate collages made of antique matchbook covers, cigar bands, streetcar transfers, movie tickets, playing cards, the kind of things you might find in a pocket or purse. These are little pieces of everyday life that he transforms into powerful stories. Many of these remains were given to him from a friends father who once repaired cash register all over Chicago.

Chicago Monster (Tony Fitzpatrick)

I remember sitting and trying to “read”  the story each piece. Every delicately cut out bits of detritus tells a party of the story. The series I saw was all about Chicago. The narratives ranged from tributes to his father and sports heroes to darker tales of the underbelly of Chicago. The work is primarily composed of three areas. The central image surrounded by collage items and hand written words of poetry down the sides. The compositions alone are stunning. You can’t help but continually moved around the works looking at each tiny bit and trying to figure out how it fits with the whole.If you get the chance to see Tony’s work in person, don’t miss the chance. Be warned that you will be captivated, in a cross word puzzle kind of way.

Now if you like collage, we have shown several artists who have impressed and delighted us with their work. Heinrich Toh (www.heinrichtoh.com) of Kansas City, Keith Grace (www.grace-design.com) of Chicago and of course our favorite Columbia painter and fellow blogger, Joel Sager (www.perlow-stevensgallery.com). Each of these talented artist has found ways to use collage in different ways to  express their unique moods, feelings and stories. Come by and take a look.



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