Renowned as a beacon for avant-garde art since 2005, Chicago’s Reversible Eye Gallery is further expanding its repertoire by hosting its first 8-month long artist residencies with a public preview to take place on October 31, 2012 and November 3, 2012 as part of the California Avenue Art Haunt. Reversible Eye’s founder R.K. Shuquem is using the maiden residencies as an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the artists and the gallery, allowing them a studio space to create striking art. The initial residencies focus on the diverse works of Heather Lynn, Samantha Acosta, and Shuquem himself.
Fans of Chicago-based artist Heather Lynn recognize her as the mastermind behind the multi-faceted experience Pure Magical Love, which Lynn herself describes as, “a girl masquerading as an army of girls masquerading as a congregation masquerading as a myth masquerading as a dance masquerading as a band.” Like a Maryoshka doll of fine arts, Lynn reveals a myriad of artistic facets in her projects with talents running the gamut including story composition, set design, costume design, choreography, and musical composition. Lynn’s work renders boundaries obsolete, featuring diverse endeavors such as the design of a room in a haunted house infused with her unique vision, erecting a holy monument within a church, and orchestrating a “neobaroque ballet”. For her residency at the Reversible Eye Gallery, Lynn is composing, directing, and choreographing a rock opera to debut at the close of her residency in Spring 2013.
Samantha Acosta’s work aims to find a balance between resistance and resignation of the social mores of sexuality. Her body of work primarily consists of a myriad of self-portraits, each expressing a different facet of sexual conflict, overcoming or submitting to the piece’s provocative theme. The title of each piece purposefully draws awareness to humanity’s voyeuristic nature, never criticizing, never condoning, never ignoring. Acosta has often employed photography in her art and has collaborated with many artists on a variety of projects in the mediums of photography and film. During her residency at the Reversible Eye Gallery, she intends to continue confronting the barriers of parallel sexual dimensions that co-exist and overlap, yet rarely touch. Acosta plans on using her residency to challenge herself with unfamiliar mediums such as sculpture and mixed media combined with her experience in photography and video to discover new vistas of her vision that have yet to be navigated.
In addition to his intensive work as founder of the Reversible Eye Gallery, Chicago-based multimedia artist R.K. Shuquem is well known for his work with unpredictably infamous musical projects like California synth punks The Phantom Limbs, Chicago gonzo marching band Mucca Pazza, and his own erratic and chaotic Loto Ball Show. With unwavering devotion to the arts, Shuquem became Artistic Director for the Illinois-based non-profit organization The Arts of Life, Inc. which encourages the creative work of artists, with and without disabilities, within the community. Shuquem’s ambitious residency focuses on the design of four albums for a yet-to-be-formed black metal band called Pantocon. Working in reverse, Shuquem will begin by designing artwork for all four Pantocon albums, titled Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, before composing the music, with the project finally culminating into the actual formation of the band, Pantocon. While the entire scope of the project is anticipated to take 3 years, the artwork for all four albums is expected to be on display at the Reversible Eye Gallery for the residency’s major exhibit on March 30, 2013. Influenced by the elaborate DIY packaging of Crass Records’ artists, each of Pantocon’s albums will feature maddeningly detailed fold-out posters while each album’s cover will be on display as 5.5 foot x 5 foot intricately penned ink pieces. Shuquem plans to explore themes of surveillance, self-consciousness, and God throughout the process of the Pantocon Project.
You can marvel at the foundation stones of Heather Lynn’s rock opera, Samantha Acosta’s multimedia exploration of sexual mores, and R.K. Shuquem’s Pantocon Project on October 31, 2012 as part of the California Avenue Art Haunt with an encore viewing scheduled for November 3, 2012.