Author Archive for Jon Brozdowski

Obsession and Compulsion

“Obsessive Compulsive Drive,” a new exhibition at the Chicago Art Department, explores “the question of what drives the artist to create.” With painted bamboo panels, ambiguous photographs, Instagram photos, and mad paper and ink drawings, it’s easy to see that the line between artistic focus and mania runs thin.

Mess is More

“Pick one of these, or I’m going to destroy this painting,” said artist Allen Vandever, pointing to a list beside an abstract blue piece, casually smug. Twenty-one choices were typed under the heading “Rescue or Destroy,” including, 1. Kiss a Random stranger in the gallery, and not just a peck. 11. Buy a work of art in the gallery. 18. Give someone a foot massage.

Little Park, Big City

The first lessons a child learns growing up in a city are simple but essential: don’t talk to strangers, come home when the street lights go on, and, last but not least, never think about playing in the streets. So it’s understandable that the city’s new parklets, dubbed People Spots by the City of Chicago, take some getting used to.

Trance State, Hpnotiq

Conrad Freiburg’s ukulele trails off after his second song, and he offers a well-meaning but unsettling smile to the crowd. As he pushes his tan coke-bottle glasses up on his nose, he says to the audience that for his last…

Peace Talks

The intersection of East 87th Street and South Commercial Avenue in South Chicago appears safe, spacious, and lively. Countdown timers usher groups of pedestrians across the wide streets, through an intersection framed by a dollar store, car dealership, and liquor…

Bridgeport’s Best Brunch

For the mix of friends and strangers chatting in the charming garden of the Benton House, the only concern is the lack of coffee. The Bridgeport Alliance organized this potluck brunch with a small town atmosphere for the area’s community groups.

A Vile Attraction

My companion Chris sits at a decade-old computer adorned with a webcam and surrounded by eight ornate red candles, patiently reading a blog post linked from the desktop: “Born like this / Into this / As the chalk faces smile…