In the hubbub surrounding the installation of J. Seward Johnson's Forever Marilyn, it's important to remember that Chicago is home to much better art and artists.
If you are checking out (pun intended) Forever Marilyn, you must visit Millennium Park. As I expressed last night on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight," Millennium Park has public art that is both excellent and serves an amazing function as public artworks. Rather than encouraging "group perving," as one Twitter commentator said of Marilyn, those sculptures bring the public together in a true spirit of equality, play and fun. Nevermind the temporary Yvonne Domenge pieces.
The weekly art and culture paper Newcity is smartly edited by Jason Foumberg, who also does reviews and writes very insightfully for his "Eye Exam" column. Newcity has multiple reviews of Chicago art exhibitions that feature strong critical voices. Newcity is available around the city for free and is also online. (Full disclosure I write for Newcity occasionally.)
Every week Jeriah Hildwine and Stephanie Burke detail "Where the F*#K [They are] Going?" on their ChicagoNow blog "Art Talk Chicago," complete with maps and everything, down to the snacks.
Our friends over at Bad at Sports have been stalwarts of covering art in Chicago since 2005, interviewing essentially every artist that you must know in Chicago or showing in Chicago. This week they feature an interview with Mark Bradford who has a big exhibition up at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The talented Claudine Isé runs their blog and they also have gallery picks for the weekend.
Bad at Sports also participates in the Art21 Blog through their "Fielding Practice" episodes, which I have had the opportunity to be a guest for. Recently we discussed changes at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeff Carter at IIT and Ai Weiwei.
As the Editor of ArtSlant: Chicago, my staff and I cover Chicago's must-see exhibitions and galleries every week. Last week I strongly recommended Western Exhibitions' "People Don't Like to Read Art." It's a smart, fun group exhibition that anyone can access. As long as you can read. This week, Steve Ruiz recommends the Post Family's exhibition at the Chicago Urban Art Society. Ruiz says it's "a strong candidate for the best-presented exhibition in Chicago this year," while Joel Kuennen visited a one-time exhibition of computer-based net art (otherwise known as new media) an emerging art genre that Chicago is particularly strong in but hasn't received much or any mainstream attention.
So forget Forever Marilyn, there's a lot better art to see in Chicago.
Tags: Art, Art Talk Chicago, ArtSlant, Chicago, Chicago Art Blog, Chicago Tonight, controversy, Culture, Forever Marilyn, J. Seward Johnson, Marilyn Monroe, Millennium Park, politics, public art, public sculpture, sculpture