October 4, 2012

Happening: Opening Reception, prints by Alex Valentine this Sunday


We are honored to be presenting a collection of new prints by Chicago artist (and long time friend of Penelope's) Alex Valentine. Join us for an opening reception this Sunday, October 7 from 3-6 to see the works, meet the artist, enjoy some light refreshments, and check out our new fall styles.

Alex has also made a limited edition tote bag to be released at the opening, available for free with purchase of a print or of $150 or more, while supplies last.

Recently, we caught up with Alex at the print department of the Art Institute of Chicago to discuss his work and what we can expect from the upcoming show. 

PENELOPES: Please tell us a bit about your history and projects you have going.
ALEX VALENTINE: I grew up in Boston Massachusetts. I moved to Chicago to attend SAIC. I am now an instructor in the Printmedia Department where I teach courses in offset and screen-printing. I am a co-founder of No Coast, a publisher of artists editions and projects.

When did you start making your art and how has it evolved since?
I started making images and prints as promotional / informational material ( posters, zines, and packaging) for bands. My art is still promotional. I view my prints as announcements, maybe in an extremely general sense. Now the work promotes actions and characteristics instead of specific events or things. I am drawn towards life actions that are fun, social and cooperative, so I make posters to champion those actions. Printmaking gives me an opportunity to be endlessly variable and additive.
 
Could you describe the printing process you use?
Offset is commercial lithography. It is used in industry to print books, magazines, newspapers, packaging, and posters. It’s suited for large runs of printed material. I used it initially to make a book.  Then I got really excited by the possibilities of creating a large volume of prints. It suited the projects I was working on. I trained as a press operator and have gradually adapted the press as a drawing tool. 

Tell us a little about the pieces we currently have in the store? 
The prints currently in the store are part of a portfolio called Sugamo Heads. Its named after a neighborhood in Tokyo that I stayed in for a few weeks. The images are inspired by that trip and the graphics of that city.

We are excited for you to show new works at Penelope's, tell me a little about what we can expect? 
The work for Penelope’s is a series of one color offset prints. They form a folio of prints called Marathon Smudge. I tend to work in series as a way of organizing my experience as an artist. 



 Where can we point people to see more about you and your work?  
My instagram handle is Pristinechicpea :-)

Thank you Alex for allowing us to show your work, we hope everyone can make it out for the reception on Sunday!