The Great Chicago Lock Out
Chicago artists are largely ignored by Chicago galleries and museums. Nothing new.
Nibblers aching for artworld fame do so by importing art from New York, LA, etc for
their shows. It's fancy. It's glamorous. If a curator can attach their name to the international
scene, then more granite countertops for their condo. Simple economics.
In a recent Reader article about the MCA's latest imported letdown, a local painter puts
it simply: "The main thing Chicago artists need to ask themselves is, Why is it that artists
here are treated like second class citizens? Why can't our curators create their own canon?
Why must they copy what's going on in LA or New York? LA and New York support their
local artists and here in Chicago we support their local artists too, to the exclusion of ours"
Why? Well perhaps we shouldn't be looking to "curators" for imagination, creativity or insight.
Perhaps we should be taking the reigns from a Chicago art world that has done nothing over the
last century to promote the local scene. The Chicago art scene in the hands of existing galleries
and museums up to this point, is ineffective, impotent, and largely an import
business with ports in every city in America except Chicago. The only way to rescue Chicago
art is to create the scene we want ourselves.