Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Exquisite City

Mia admires Charlie Thorne's "My Little City." She found a tiny dog in one of the backyards.

Last weekend we took the girls to The Exquisite City installation at the Chicago Tourism Center on Randolph. Mia and Eleanor were fascinated by the tiny cityscapes. A crowd of artists, including students from Lakeview High School, created miniature blocks and tiny apartments with the great city of Chicago as their inspiration. Seeing the exhibit with kids is a great family day combo with winter playtime at nearby Millennium Park.

The Tourism Center is at 72 E. Randolph, across the street from the Cultural Center. The Exquisite City runs through March 15. More info here.

Gabriel Villa created the ziggurat above called "Xicago Memoriam" from cardboard tortilla boxes. The top structure illustrated with praying hands is a replica of the Robert Taylor Homes, a Chicago public housing project that was demolished in 2007.

Here is a city block by Jay Ryan, who also does concert posters.

Jay Ryan detail.

The singer Neko Case contributed this burning house to the Exquisite City, but you need to see the entire piece to get the full effect. She rendered the entire conflagration with beautiful detail, including flaming clothes on the clothesline. The cotton batting smoke and cellophane red flames rise up to the ceiling of the Tourist Center where they break into puffy clouds that bear words that I read as messages from those who died in the fire. "I always wanted to be George Jones," reads one cloud. "And now I am."

Beautiful Neko Case detail.

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