(In)Conspicuous is the new exhibit from Jennifer Cronin, a Chicago based artist from Oak Lawn, Ill. This show represents the work Cronin has done the past three years and is a departure from her pervious work, which consisted of more dramatic psychological pieces that were documentary in nature. (In)Conspicuous is where she begins to step outside and think about other people’s experiences and the world around her, listening and looking at what’s happening.
“I came up with (In)Conspicuous with the parentheses because all of these are things we look over in our everyday life, from customer service representatives, gritty industrial landscapes and corners of Chicago people don’t pay attention to,” Cronin says. “When you look, think and feel about it, it becomes striking and grandiose. These tiny things that we overlook that seem mundane, maybe when you think about it there is a story. It’s inconspicuous but it’s actually conspicuous.”
(In)Conspicuous unfurls the beauty in the mundane. Consisting of three different series and stand alone paintings that range from decaying industrial landscapes to the thoughts of exhausted customer service workers on the job to the unsettling fog of the human mind and foreclosed homes from the south side of Chicago.
“Customer Service” is a series of portraits featuring weary customer service employees adjacent with images of fantasies, dreams, aspirations, reflections of where they rather be and what’s more important to them. It gives a better impression of who they are then what we might see as the customer.
“Perception of What May Not Be” is a series of paintings inspired by the Oliver Sacks book Hallucinations. These illusions that come from depths the human mind are haunting, alluring, perplexing and so much more. You look to see if you can find what is there in the fog or how beauty can come from washing dishes.
“What was Once a Home” is a series of drawings about foreclosed homes located on Chicago’s South Side. These houses exhibit income inequality in United States but specifically in Chicago. What were once homes full of families and people are now disappearing landscapes. All that remains are little hints of their former selves from the shattered windows, peeled paint, unkempt grass and sealed doors. Capturing the last breath of these homes before they whither away and or demolish.
“Untitled” is a painting that is the response of Cronin to many years of doing figurative work. Now moving on to new subject matter, she looked to gritty and decaying urban and industrial landscapes to find what interested her aesthetically. Somewhat out-of-place and unwelcoming, the painting’s ominous feeling draws you in.
Cronin’s next series is to be focused on the human element of climate change, where she plans on visiting the people who are directly affected by it. One such place she hopes to visit is Shishmaref, Alaska, a town located on Sarichef Island in the Chukchi Sea where the rising temperature has caused the land to thaw out and the coastline to erode.
(In)Conspicuous is on display from March 11 to May 5 at I Am Logan Square Gallery (2644 1/2 N. Milwaukee Ave.).