I decided to make a trip to Chicago for two reasons. The first was to make my first visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art in the Pilsen area of Chicago. I had never heard of this museum until recently and I was pretty excited to get down there for their Dia de los Muertos exhibit before it closed.
This ofreda was magnificent.
I was thrilled to discover the works of three Mexican artist whose homes/studios I had visited on my trips with Colleen Darling and Michael deMeng during Dia de los Muertos.
The black pottery of Carlomagno Pedro Martínez from San Bartolo Coyotepec
A papier mache alebrijes from the Linares family of Mexico City
Clay work from the Aguilar family of Ocotlan
In the protest exhibit I found Oaxacan prints from artist I own in my own collection:
Urtarte and Burro Press
Here is my favorite image from the visit. The 43 butterflies represent the missing students whose deaths have never been forgotten in Mexico.
Next up on my agenda in Chicago was a trip into the Rogers Park neighborhood. The murals near the interurban are spectacular.
The real reason to be here was to visit Kim's Corner Food managed by Thomas Kong. I had just read this book:
Thomas Kong may not be the best neighborhood grocer, and he may not be the best collage artist ever, but a visit to this unique location is like walking into a outsider artist experience first hand.
It appears that access to the store is limited as this is a very safe neighborhood. I think Mr. Kong does not really need to have customers but prefers to work.
Mr. Kong did greet me and let me in--and then went right to work on more collages. He makes his collages from the remnants of the products he sells. Despite some physical issues, he was in good spirits.
Once inside there are collages tucked everywhere. I mean everywhere.
As I picked a route back to Milwaukee I came across Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
I would have to say that this trip to Chicago exceeded my expectations.