WGN interview

May 23, 2016

Tony Fitzpatrick talks with Dave Hoekstra on the Nocturnal Journal on WGN.

Listen to the interview! 

Press Release

May 5, 2016

CHICAGO — Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick will bring his signature brand of witty visual repartee to the DePaul Art Museum this spring with a display of his collage series “The Secret Birds.” The exhibition will run May 12-Aug. 21, 2016, and is the largest presentation of his work to date with more than 50 of his intricately layered collages as well as 40 prints from the DePaul Art Museum collection that span more than two decades of the artist’s career.

In his ongoing series “The Secret Birds,” Fitzpatrick meticulously draws and layers images, poetry and found materials onto the page. He combines inspiration from his working class roots in Chicago and influences from folk art, comic book characters and tattoo imagery. Each drawn collage depicts a specific species of bird, ranging from the peregrine falcon to the common starling.

Several of the works are commentaries on gun violence, drug abuse and other inequities and injustices found in Chicago and beyond. “The birds play symbolic roles, some delivering otherworldly messages and cautionary tales,” said curator Laura Fatemi, associate director of the DePaul Art Museum. Other works eulogize Fitzpatrick’s influences, including writer Roberto Bolaño, musician and Chicago blues legend Otis Clay, and his own father.

“Tony celebrates the beauty of the natural world in ‘The Secret Birds’” said Fatemi. “The Artist’s Studio” section of the exhibition will feature items from Fitzpatrick’s studio, including the ornithological reference books he has studied and his carved wooden bird collection.

A Chicago native, Fitzpatrick draws on the history and lore of the city, as well as popular culture and his Irish Catholic roots. He is a self-taught artist, playwright, actor, poet and essayist and a consummate raconteur, said Fatemi. “Tony’s astute observations and contemplations of his surroundings reveal and celebrate the magic, beauty and wonder of the world around him,” said Fatemi.

Printmaking has played an important part in Fitzpatrick’s development as an artist. In 1992, he founded a printmaking workshop, Big Cat Press, in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The operations have moved and changed over time, but printmaking remains an important part of his work.

Fatemi has grouped some prints with Chicago subject matter from a series titled “Remembered City.” These images take the viewer on a journey through the streets of Chicago and reference the city’s history and landmarks, including the Chicago Stockyards. “Tony is a chronicler of the city, and the view of Chicago he expresses in prints and poetry is historical, political and intensely personal,” said Fatemi.

The exhibition includes selections of Fitzpatrick’s work from the DePaul Art Museum’s permanent collection, and more than 30 private collectors have contributed their holdings. “These works encompass a range of  ideas and showcase a sampling of the  visual trajectory of the artist over the past two decades,” said Fatemi.

An opening reception will be held for “The Secret Birds” and another exhibition, “Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits,” May 12 from 5-8 p.m. A discussion with Fitzpatrick and Chicago Tribune writer Rick Kogan, known for his compelling takes on the city, will be held May 23 from 6-7:30 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

Fall Exhibitions Opening Reception

9/6/2018

September 6, 6-8 pm

Join DPAM as we celebrate the openings of Brendan Fernandes: The Living Mask and Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago and Whitney Bradshaw: Outcry with a public reception featuring DJ Karsten Sollors.

Karsten Sollors bio:

Chicago based, Canadian export Karsten Sollors has earned the attention of electronic music’s finest. Pioneering his vision across the house spectrum, his studio output pours tech, deep and techno traits, granting enthusiasts from Chicago to Ibiza a beautiful sonic
experience. Karsten gravitates toward effervescent musical accents, igniting charts around the world upon renowned labels while kindling a sincere and primitive flow.

 

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Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago Curator’s Tour

9/8/2018

September 8, 2:00 PM

Jasmine Alinder, co-curator of “Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Someday, Chicago,” offers a guided tour of the exhibition that examines the work of American-born Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1921–2012) through the lens of his relationship to Chicago. Ishimoto lived in the city for nearly a decade.

Free and open to everyone.

Register in advance.

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Artist Talk: Brendan Fernandes

9/12/2018

September 12, 5:307PM

 Exhibiting artist Brendan Fernandes will give a lecture on his work, including his background in ballet and research into African art as it relates to his exhibition “The Living Mask.” This event is his first artist lecture since moving to Chicago.

Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya lives and works in Chicago) is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA from the University of Western Ontario (2005) and his BFA from York University in Canada (2002). He is currently Artist in Residence and Faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice.

Free and open to everyone.

Register in advance.

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