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LIGHTEN UP


  • The Condo Association 2700 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60647 (map)
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Neon has that exhibitionist quality that exudes sexuality and commercialism. It suggests a sexual declaration of personal empowerment. Lighten Up is a celebration of neon art. The show confronts heavy topics such as sex, sexuality, child-bearing, immigration, and addiction while lightening the tone with humor and fun. From traditional neon signs, to sculptures, to performances, to illuminated paintings, this show highlights the diverse ways neon can be incorporated in art.

Blending the adult industry-exhibitionist quality of neon text with regressive, childlike shapes and symbols, these artists will be tagging up the walls of The Condo Association like illuminated graffiti.

While most neon artists get their work fabricated, all of the selected artists designed and bent their own neon tubes. Every tube is made by human hands. The turning, pulling, sagging, sucking, and blowing are reminiscent of a child playing with toys. Only these toys are bombarded, filled with gas, and given 9,000 volts of electricity. It is both dangerous and fragile. Even though they follow a pattern, you can still see each of the artists' hand in their own work. Left with cuts and burns, you can see the work in their hands. Every piece that is made has a little of their own blood, sweat, and spit.

Work: Acacia Way, Edward Muela, Farnaz Khosh-Sirat, Jeff Perino, Jenn Chen, John Dominguez, and Sonia Cheng

Stand-up comedy by: Odinaka Ezeokoli

Curated by Audra Jacot

Later Event: February 3
Cat's Cradle Exhibition (OPENING)