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Each year, the highlight of Art Chicago is its younger, edgier companion fair, NEXT, populated by cutting-edge galleries from around the globe. Here, three emerging Chicago artists exhibiting at NEXT share the story behind something they’ve created that is striking a chord with the art world.
Gallery: Nicole Villeneuve
Backstory: This School of the Art Institute grad mixes Old World ideas with dashes of the quirky and contemporary (monsters, robots). Inspired by images from her native Japan and impressionism, her surreal oil and watercolor paintings range from dreamlike to vibrantly strange.
On Behind the Door: “I was struck by a Matisse painting of a black French door [at the Art Institute last spring], as well as a print by 19th-century Japanese printmaker Utagawa Kuniyoshi that depicts a monster playing Japanese chess,” says Ikeda. “I wanted to blend those two together and make a domestic environment that blends outside and inside.”inspiration “Abandoned houses I see on walks, the grass, sunlight, Kurosawa’s films that influence my ideas about life and boundaries, dark and light, [Chicago outsider artist] Henry Darger.”
Inspiration: “Abandoned houses I see on walks, the grass, sunlight, Kurosawa’s films that influence my ideas about life and boundaries dark and light [Chicago outsider artist] Henry Darger.”