Leather Archives & Museum
6418 N Greenview Ave.,
Chicago IL, 60626
© 2017 Leather Archives & Museum
Part of the Party: The Visual Story of the Onyx Brotherhood and Walter Houston III
About the artist, Erica Brooks : As an artist and arts educator I love to delve into the connections we all share as humans. I also love to dissect the differences between us that cannot be overlooked. I do this exploration through arts based storytelling. My process begins with interviewing individuals and then creating art as a way to reflect upon those interviews. These reflections are in the form of audio interviews, paintings, drawings, photography and digital art. When interviewing another person, my first goal is to avoid using my words to tell their story. The art is the bridge between my understanding of their story and their own words and experiences. My art translates into a visual representation of the feeling and aura of the individual I am interviewing. My art can help audiences visually connect with the interviewee and co-artist. As I grow as an artist, I hope use my work to tell stories that are not always heard in the mainstream media. I want to tell the stories of people of color, queer people, people of differing gender identities. By telling these stories creatively, I want open up the narrative of these groups beyond the stories heard in the media or throughout history. In the future, I will continue to tell stories and continue to make art.
Materialkink June 30, 2017 - January 14, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, June 30, 2017 from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. Reception is free and open to the public.
THE LEATHER ARCHIVES & MUSEUM PROUDLY PRESENTS MATERIALKINK, A GROUP EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY ART FEATURING WORKS BY MICHAEL BLAKE, CHLOE COOPER, CLARITA LULIĆ, LUIS MEJICO, JAMES MURRAY, DAVID NASCA, BETSY ODOM, HEATHER RACHEL PHILLIPS, TAMARA SANTABAÑEZ, LAUREN STEINBERG, VINCENT TILEY, KATIE VOTA, JADE WILLIAMS, AND DERRICK WILSON-MORROW.
Curated by Chicago-based artist José Santiago Pérez, this exhibition features artworks produced by local, national, and international artists that expand the boundaries of erotic art through contemporary explorations of the materialities that accompany and structure the practices and lifewords of alternative sex.
Matter, desire, and power exchange are simultaneously celebrated and examined in this gathering of artworks spanning painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and textile. Artworks in this exhibition incorporate rope, nylon, wax, rubber, steel, fabric, hair, and leather in ways that evoke the desiring body and its erotic engagement with the substances of kinky sex. Together the works reference and respond to the practices of BDSM, cruising, and the perversion of ordinary objects.
Michael Blake (b. 1990 Los Angeles, CA) received his MFA from Hunter College, NY. Blake explores both formal and autobiographical themes, often related to desire, sexuality, and the relationship between public and private space. Recent group exhibitions include I’d Rather Be Here Than Almighty at 315 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; 67, New York, NY and Untitled/Everyone All At Once Together at Ashes/Ashes, Los Angeles, CA.
Chloe Cooper was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She grew up knitting and sewing small objects and dolls, always keeping her hands busy with new projects. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Textiles, focusing on knitting and material exploration. In 2015 she was part of the MIT Open Style lab fellowship, and currently lives and works as a material designer in Portland, OR.
Chloe Cooper’s knit and sewn sculptures act as organic abstractions of the human form- visceral and playful. These sculptures explore our perceptions of the body, dissolving reality, questioning the limitations of the self, and our physical boundaries. Her work highlights the malleability we have over our physical and mental self in her use of process and materials.
Clarita Lulic is a visual artist specializing in lens based media, sculpture and performance. Born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, North East England, Clarita gained her BA in Contemporary Photographic Practice from Northumbria University and later returned there to complete a graduate fellowship and artist residency. Her work in self-portraiture and cruise ship photography has won her a Nation Media Museum (UK) Photography award and an Arts Council England Individual Grant for the Arts and has been exhibited and published internationally. Clarita is a British Fulbright Scholar and currently lives in Tempe, Arizona whilst completing an MFA in Studio Art (emphasis in Photography) at Arizona State University.
Luis Mejico is multidisciplinary artist and independent curator. Xe has performed and exhibited work at the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Queens Museum in New York, Mana Contemporary Chicago, Links Hall, Zhou Brothers Art Center, The Oak Park Art League, The Uptown Arts Center, and Jan Brandt Gallery, among others. Xe recently curated NINETEEN: THE REUP, an exhibition of marginalized artists for the Chicago Loop Alliance’s ACTIVATE series. Xis first solo show, I will hurt you, recently opened in February 2017. Xe is seeking xis BFA at SAIC (2017).
James Murray is a visual artist and music producer with a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston & Tufts University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work explores the languages, histories, narratives, archetypes and spaces of queer communities both past and present through materials that include sound, drawing, new media, video, performance and books. James has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally. He is included in both the Kinsey Institute and the Joan Flash Artists’ Book Collection and resides in Chicago.
David Nasca was born in Buffalo NY. He has always been a maker and taught himself leather work at the age of 13. He went to Deep Springs College in California, a small experimental liberal arts college on a working ranch, where he continued his interest in making and craftsmanship by exploring the traditions of western saddlery and tack making. He continued his studies at the University of Chicago, where he majored in visual arts. At the University of Chicago, he learned how to incorporate his interest in queer theory to his artistic practice and graduated with a BA with honors in 2012. He has shown locally and abroad in venues ranging from a converted colonial church in Mexico City, to a porn theatre in Chicago. He lives and works in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago where he runs Showboat, an alternative art space focusing on moving image work with his partner.
Betsy Odom (b. Amory, Mississippi) received her MFA from Yale University School of Art and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a DCASE Grant, Illinois Arts Council Artist Grant, and West collection Acquisition Prize. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Let’s Be Honest at 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago, Oh No at Terrain Projects in Oak Park, IL, and Freedom Culture at The Journal Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
Heather Raquel Phillips is a born and bred Philadelphia based artist. She received her BFA from Tyler School of Art (2008) and her MFA from University of Pennsylvania (2016) where she was awarded the prestigious Toby Devan Fellowship Award. She has recently shown at Grizzly Grizzly in Philadelphia, Mama Gallery In L.A. & BLAM Gallery In Brooklyn.
Tamara Santibañez (Brooklyn) is a multimedia artist living and working in Brooklyn. Her work is rooted in subcultural semiotics, exploring the meanings we assign to materials, accessories and objects. Drawing from the worlds of fetish, punk, Chicanx art, and tattooing, she probes the weight objects hold as symbols and the ways in which style-based cultural signifiers function as shorthand for a coded communication. Santibañez is the founding editor of New York-based independent publishing house Discipline Press, a multimedia venture dedicated to reconnecting popular imagery of counterculture with the narratives and history of those who create it, with a focus on excavating experiences of marginalized peoples within subculture. As a tattoo artist working at the legendary Saved Tattoo, Santibañez is widely known for her innovative combination of Chicanx imagery with fetish iconography.
Lauren Steinberg was born in New York City Lauren Steinberg earned her performance chops as a Justin Bieber impersonator/drag king in order to earn some extra money while attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. An object maker, lighting designer and low budget film editor Lauren began to combine all of her outlets in order to create mixed media performance art. Using her technics as an entertainer Lauren's work shifted from performance for the camera into long duration works involving her body and altered objects. After finishing her undergraduate degree in 2014 Lauren attended SAIC for her graduate degree in performance. While in Chicago Lauren has performed in multiple locations including: Links Hall, DfbrL8R and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Vincent Tiley currently lives and works in Brooklyn NY but was born in 1987 in Charleston, West Virginia. He received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2013. He received Summa Cum Laude distinction from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Tiley works as an artist and designer in Brooklyn NY. The artist has been exhibited widely across the country and internationally, including his solo shows The Past Three Nights, AxeNeo7 Gatineau (2017); Silent Heat, Christopher Stout Gallery NYC (2016); Look at the Moon, City Bird Gallery NYC (2015); and New Skin Elee:Mosynary Gallery (2014).
Katie Vota Katie Vota is a Chicago-based artist working to create interactive environments and sculptural objects that engage viewers in ideas of play, touch, pleasure, power exchange, and the roll of the active body in shaping identity. Vota received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2010, magna cum laude) and a Studio MFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago (2015). She was awarded a US Student Fulbright Grant (’11-’12) to study Andean Back-strap Weaving and Natural Dyeing in Cusco, Peru. Vota has exhibited in numerous solo and juried exhibitions, at venues including Threewalls (Chicago), Pratt MPW School of Art Gallery (Utica, NY), The Krasl Art Center (St. Joseph, MI), The Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis), and Area 405 (Baltimore). She is a Lenore Tawney Foundation Scholar, and has participated in residencies such as Corner Gallery’s Individual Artist Residency and Crosshatch in Traverse City, MI.
Jade Williams (b. 1993, Streamwood, IL, United States) is an installation artist and surface designer whose work investigates the histories and complexities that surround black female bodies. Jade recently received her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where her work was exhibited at the Krannert Art Museum and Figure One Gallery. Jade is a 2016 recipient of the James R. and Dorothy E. Shipley Award, the Florence M. House award, and winner of the 2016 Evanston and Vicinity Biennial. Currently, Jade lives and works in the Greater Chicago Area.
Derrick Wilson-Morrow (b.1990. Greensboro, NC) is a conceptual artist working in photography, sculpture, installation, and performance. He is the recipient of the 2015 Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts by the College Association of Art, the Carol Becker Merit Scholarship (SAIC), the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award (SAIC), and is a Terry Plumming Scholar. He has attended the ACRE residency, the Fire Island Artist Residency, Latitude Residency Program (March 2017) and was accepted into Ox-bow residency. He has shown work at Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto, The Sullivan Galleries, The Kinsey Institute, The Maier Museum of Art, the Center on Halsted in Chicago, the Student Union Galleries, Hyde Park Arts Center, ACRE and The Bureau of General Services – Queer Division: BGSQD (Feb 2017). He has upcoming work exhibited in Context 2017 – Filter Photo Gallery, 50 x 50 Invitational/The Subject is Chicago: People, Places, Possibilities – Chicago Cultural Centre, Precariat – Hyde Park Arts Center & for The Petty Biennial – University of Chicago (Arts Incubator). He recently completed his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently is an Adjunct Professor of Photography and Teaching Artist at the University of Illinois Chicago.