The Jackson Junge Gallery (http://www.j2gallery.com/) located at 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622 is a renowned art gallery in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago, IL. The gallery features works by the artist Junge herself, as well as other artists in the Chicago area.
I visited the opening reception of the exhibition, Beauty, a Special Group Exhibition (http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/events/opening-reception-beauty-special-group-exhibition). Upon arriving, I was impressed by the professionalism of the gallery, and of the amount of attendees. The majority of art featured portraiture and the human form, as well as streets and overhead views of Chicago. The exhibition featured paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures in addition to jewelry and matted prints for purchase. The owner of the gallery even brought their adorable dog along to join the fun!
Stephanie Karamitsos's work features the female form and collage with maps, lace, sequins, and fabric flowers. Her depiction of the figure is executed tremendously well and is a wonderful contrast to the free form collage abstraction. The woman in the painting, Made it Up, makes me think that she is having makeup and her hair done for perhaps a photo shoot or event. Stephanie Karamitsos is currently working in her studio full-time and prefers smaller scale collage media. She obtained her PHD from North Western University and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has deep roots in Chicago as her mother was raised in Highland Park, IL.
Raymond Thornton's painting, Danse Macabre caught my eye with its hyper realism contrasted with the fantastical, whimsical scene. The composition draws the viewer into the action happening in the middle ground, and the detail on the figure on the right is breathtaking. Raymond has exhibited his works across the country and received several awards including the gold medal at the 96th annual Allied Artists of America Exhibition and an award of excellence at the 2012 Oil Painters of America Eastern Exhibition.
James Mesple is an artist from Missouri and his artwork features themes from the Greek culture, Picasso, and mythology. In his painting, Iconic Nature, he pulls Picasso's iconic representation of African masks, a Greek statue, and an African mask. In his words, the painting represents the four seasons, from left to right, Winter, Fall, Spring, and Summer. Mesple had a total of 6 artworks in the show, each just as breathtaking and detailed as Iconic Nature.
His process begins with an egg tempura layer, then he layers oil paint and uses linseed oil or poppy seed oil as his medium. He grew up spending summers with his grandfather, who taught him the mysteries of classical mythology. The theme of good and evil or the Battle of the Cosmos can be seen throughout his paintings. His ideas often come to him in dreams, and he keeps a journal by his bed side to jot down any new concepts. He has also dabbled in collage works in addition to working in oil and egg tempura.
James Mesple graduated with honors from Northeastern Illinois University and began teaching at Chicago's Francis W. Parker School, and has also taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as teaching workshops and advanced studies. His artworks have been featured in exhibitions locally and internationally as well as in public and private art collections.
Mesple has lived in Logan Square since 1968, and is working in his studio full time.
Overall, the exhibition was impressive, and the artworks were beautiful and plentiful. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Beauty can be defined as the quality of being physically attractive, the qualities in a person or thing a thing that gives pleasure to the senses or mind, and a beautiful woman. I believe that this exhibition contained all of those qualities and showcased the idea of beauty with a marvelous flair, in addition to being professional and refined.