Chioke R. Morais, who showed with Elastic Arts (@elasticarts) for many years before leaving Chicago, returns to his old neighborhood of Logan Square this summer as a featured artist in the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival (@MilAveArtsFest, Logan Blvd. and Milwaukee Ave.). His solo show of all new works titled “Song for My Father” will be at the Hairpin Lofts Arts Center (2800 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and includes mixed media presentations inspired by the photography of his father and the games of his children.
“My father was a photographer in Harlem in the 40s and 50s and many of the pieces in the show are based on these small 2×3 photographs of his that I still have,” says Morais. “Because of their size, the pictures are kind of hard to display, you can’t really hang them on your wall and I wanted to preserve them, to give these people life again. So I decided to paint my interpretation of them. It seemed like a good way to honor my father’s work and it was a way to bring our art together.”
The shadow paintings depict the street games of his youth and the games his daughters play. His children and their friends cast many of the shadows on the actual paintings.
“I have such great memories of being a kid in Staten Island and then in St. Louis playing these games with my friends and I get great joy now seeing my own kids playing them. I felt like I needed to document that part of childhood,” says Morais.
Showing the work in Chicago “is perfect for me,” says Morais. “I live in a very rural environment now and both of these series celebrate what I love about urban life. Since Chicago is most definitely my favorite city, it makes all the sense in the world to bring the series there first.”
Morais has lived and worked on Martha’s Vineyard since leaving Logan Square in 2008. “I am really looking forward to being a part of the Logan Square art world again and thrilled to be bringing my work back in time for the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest.”
Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Featured artist Chioke R. Morais’ solo show: “Song for My Father” will open at the Hairpin Lofts Arts Center (2800 N. Milwaukee Ave.) on Friday, July 20 at 6 pm and will remain up through Labor Day Weekend.
Socialize with Chioke R. Morais | Facebook