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May I be Franc?


“Poetic Prose II” by Francine Turk from Chicago Art Source website

Any artist whose motto is “I live in France . . . in my head”¬† is destined to be my new artist crush. Meet Francine Turk who I know nothing about except I’ve been drooling over her work since I discovered it five minutes ago thanks to Apartment Therapy. You can check out some of her new work at Chicago Art Source. (I haven’t yet gotten up the courage to ask how much her work is.) From her moody Matisse-like nudes to her even moodier mashups of visual and print language, Turk’s work makes me consider what’s hidden in the gray areas, in the smudges, in the lines left undrawn or smeared beyond the point of recognition. What do we choose to say or to not say or to un-say? Turk’s work also makes me remember wandering in the Marais spellbound by that peculiar heaviness of ancient time and hidden things that seems to permeate Paris’s former Jewish quartier. If you’re actually in that great big town by that great big lake, you can visit Chicago Art Source in person at 1871 N. Clybourn Avenue. Bon Pensee (which I hope means Happy Thinking . . . or Pondering . . . or something along those lines)!

You had me at “Wednesday greetings collectors”

So you know how I said I’d probably mention 20× at least a billion times over the life of this blog, well, you can start counting.

Wednesday’s one of my favorite days because that’s when the 20×200 photography edition arrives. Today featured a double edition from Chinese photographer Shen Wei, and it was love at first sight for the first photo in the pair, “Blessing over the Rice Machine, Guiyang, Guizhou Province.” (The second half of the pair is gorgeous too, it just didn’t –to paraphrase Emily Dickinson–blow the top of my head off.)

I’ve been very drawn to industrial stuff lately, especially scenes that have a certain air of neglect, or maybe I’m responding to a sense of age, of staying power despite or in spite of. . . . In this particular photograph I think it’s especially¬† the luminous colors that draw me in, that pop of green in the lower right, the earthy paper of the blessing. Maybe I like the idea that there is aesthetic satisfaction to be found in even the most seemingly unaesthetic settings . Something about the composition feels almost postcard-like to me, in the sense that there’s a whole story waiting to be unpacked within the borders of the frame. This is one of those images that I could be lost in for a long long time.

I think I’m going to mosy over to 20× and see if there’re still any $20 editions left to order. I encourage you to do the same (but not if you’re getting the last one and leaving me heartbroken . . . )

More later, since I still have to report back on my finds at this weekend’s Handmade Mart in my hood.

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