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Art Drives Culture

My plan to watch the Super Bowl at State turned out great-well, with a couple of exceptions. The place was packed, and the energy level was at a major high. Even those who didn’t care about the game (although how could they not?) must have felt chills when everyone in the room chanted the Bears fight song. I swear I thought the windows were going to shatter from the screaming and jumping up and down following the opening touchdown. I also thought I’d lose my hearing permanently. Strangers were high-fiving and clinking beers. Guys were hitting on girls. It was a drunken love fest all around. But our group of 20 happened to be seated (or rather, standing) next to a table of Colts fans. That part stunk, especially when the Bears blew it.But let’s not make this a pity party. Thursday night I attended the opening reception of the Light and Speed exhibit at 666 N. Michigan Ave. The space-which housed Motorola’s Q launch last year and for now goes by the name Lexus 460 Degrees Gallery-is considered a pop-up gallery. As in: Now you see it, now you don’t! Turn your head, and something else will be there in a few weeks. Although my date and I went mostly for the free drinks, we did bump into a little art. I mean that literally, as in we almost knocked over the show’s centerpiece: a 50-foot high, 200-foot long wooden sculpture that artist Arne Quinze originally erected in Nevada’s Black Woods Desert. In our defense, the piece took up a lot of real estate on the second floor near the bar and DJ booth. Celebrity DJ Sky Nellor, who doubles as a model, provided the music and eye candy; featured artwork also included video installations by Pascual Sisto and photography by Miranda Lichtenstein. Shamim M. Momin, associate curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, is serving as executive consultant for the 460 Degrees Gallery, Lexus’s mobile art project that also made stops in New York and L.A. The “460” in the gallery name refers to the just-launched Lexus LS 460-which I didn’t realize until I arrived at the event and was greeted by a shiny, new LS on the first floor. And here I thought I was just going to get an art lesson. I’m not exactly sure what Lexus and art have in common, but I’m guessing the event was an attempt to get a few well-coiffed hipsters into luxury sedans. It seemed to work, at least for the night: We saw a couple in the display car having what looked like a tiff. Too many of those complimentary cocktails, perhaps. The exhibit moves on to Miami February 15th. Catch it while you can.

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