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1800 N. Milwaukee Ave. , Chicago, IL 60647
August 1, 2008 - September 19, 2008

SOLVE Tribute Exhibit
by Thea Liberty Nichols

OhNo!Doom is a collaborative group of Chicago artists, designers and animators comprised of Fathom, Z.Child, Flip, Chips and Osito. They’ve been located in their current Logan square location, at the corner of Lyndale and Sacramento, one year come this October. Z. Child, Chips, Flip and Osito met at school three years ago, with Fathom joining the crew just after all five ended up landing jobs at the same company. On top of nine to fives, Fathom, Z. Child and Flip manage daily operations and organize exhibitions in the studio space cum gallery. All five have contributed to a collaborative piece, installed in a bold, black and white wrap encompassing the interior walls of the space, and the work continues its climb on the exterior windows, making for a tantalizing street side view.

They also provide gallery space for other artists and creatives, like their current exhibition, "What is SOLVE: the tribute show," which opened this past Friday, August 1, and will run to mid September. The show memorializes Brendan Scanlon a.k.a. SOLVE, murdered this summer at the too tender age of twenty-four. Co-curated by OhNo!Doom and SOLVE’s close friend Nice-one, the twenty-eight participating artists* in this group show were asked to respond visually to what SOLVE meant to them. His impact on the street art community, as well as the presence of his work citywide, was contemplated in pieces consisting of stencils, embroidery, paintings, drawings, prints and collages. The content ranged from literal reproductions of his graphics and caricatured figurative representations of SOLVE, to invented forms and inspired imagery in bold, sometimes neon or metallic colors, all paying homage to their friend and fellow artist.


Installation view of "What is SOLVE: the triute show." Various artists. Photo: Thea Nichols

All works were donated for the exhibition and the packed house at the opening participated in a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Madison East Art Department, an organization in the Wisconsin hometown of SOLVE. With DJs, handmade stickers and buttons also available, everyone was able to participate and take something away with them that night, and the humming crowd was a mix of local neighborhood kids mingling with adults and friends of SOLVE. Nice-one plans on taking the show on the road, with a next stop scheduled for Kansas City and future spots on the West Coast in the works

In the meantime, the folks at OhNo!Doom are industriously turning out original artworks
and in house designed apparel, available in store and online. Their line of FluffyFriends,
a series of kooky plush monsters designed by Fathom, and distributed by Rotofugi, and stand out from other designer toys by interacting with their owners thanks to their set of animated pearly whites. Although all five OhNo!Doom founders have separate artistic practices, their frequent collaborations are the inspired element of their work that they let guide their spaces mission, infusing their programming with a unique, playful, cooperative ethos. One such example is their upcoming Chicago Artist Show, scheduled to open in mid to late September. Featuring an impressively ambitious "exquisite corpse," comprised of forty works by twenty artists, the exhibition is focused on the theme, “We Need Each Other.”

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*Artists included in What is SOLVE are Tiny, Nice-one, 20hats, Flip, Artillery, Tip Toe, Brooks Golden, Bonus, Mike Paro, Moira, Joey D., Z.Child, Osito, Swiv, Cyro, Klepto, Mirian V. Fathom, Chips, Kid Static, Jessica Els, Melt, Dae, Yesno, Susan Wise, Codo, Saro and Yunicorn.

--Thea Nichols

Posted by Thea Liberty Nichols on 8/4/08

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