Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beth Rooney and Liese Ricketts Pop-Up Art Loop Show

After work today I went to the Pop-Up Art Loop First Thursdays Gallery Walk.  The pop-up galleries are housed in various storefronts throughout downtown Chicago, and feature work by many innovative artists. From shuttered sandwich shops, to closed bank branches, to former cell phone stores, a fascinating assortment of spaces have been transformed into galleries.

Beth Rooney and Liese Ricketts's exhibition of photographs of middle and high school students is appropriately located in a mall, the natural habitat of the American teenager. 

Nicole by Liese A. Ricketts
Nicole by Liese A. Ricketts

I especially liked the pieces in Liese Ricketts's 13 series, which are photographs of thirteen-year-olds.  This visually arresting collection of portraits captures the duality of adolescence so vividly.  The faces of her subjects simultaneously register intensity and vulnerability, maturity and immaturity.  You look into their eyes and you see who they are now and who they are becoming.  Even her medium is a duality, digital prints on metal, a collision of the computer age and the era of the tintype.

The show runs from September 6th through the 30th and is in the Block 37 Mall at 108 N. State Street in downtown Chicago.  The gallery is on the first floor of the mall, between The Disney Store and Akira.

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