I’ve been chasing art in Chicago now for 16 days. Perhaps it will take a month more to visit all the rooms of public art in this huge city.
I like what I’ve seen. Sooner or later I will start making outrageous global statements about the whole mass of art in Chicago.
I assess the value of art by its utility for people. Good art changes the inner world: inspires novel thoughts, poignant memories, symphonic emotion. The outward behavior that indexes inward stirring: a smile, a laugh, pursed mouth, hand on chin. These are some signs that the art is working on people or that they are working on or with it. Good art, to my mind, is useful art.
I am ignorant and open-minded. I have no formal art education. This project is my informal art education. I sail by taste, favoring soulful hues pulsing within and against each other; vivid realism as soil for fantasy to organically root; a sense of humor that is congruent with seriousness and sense of purpose.
These favored qualities I found at the National Museum of Mexican Art (always free, off Damen in Pilsen). This is the best collection of contemporary art I have yet discovered in Chicago (the Museum of Contemporary Art has some pretty boring stuff up right now).