and KC Ortiz! Don't miss it! Find out more about it here
Known Gallery presents RUMBLE by Pose 1
Born and raised in the Windy City, Pose came of age during Chicago’s hard knock golden years of graffiti—molding him into the person he is today. Having put in endless work in the streets, the lines, and the train yards, he solidly secured his name well before any outsider took notice to his unique style. A Pose graffiti piece is like a branded stamp. In this exhibition Pose investigates a traditional style of comic book illustration and painting and infuses it with his own recognizable twist. Complexly layered, his work is bursting at the seams, often stunning and confusing onlookers with an intense amount of intricate detail. Each time Pose paints a new wall it walks a fine line between being an artfully-mastered collage of illustration—with images drawn from TV, literature, film, and fine art—and a graffiti piece. In this body of work, Pose has translated his trademarks in his signature graffiti style, (classic cartoon characters, sign painting fonts, a flat graphic style, and vivid color choices) from the street to the studio, creating elaborate large- and small-scale paintings. His work as an innovator in the graffiti world has led him to focus on what were previously only accents on his letters—exploring imagery and figuration in bold ways. Inside you will find numerous traces of his personality... the struggle, humor, sarcasm, love, hate, and always a feverish push towards the new. The show title "RUMBLE" comes from the slang term meaning, a street fight between rival teenage gangs. When you look at one of Pose’s paintings you get the sense of a clash, but one which is noticeably classic, knowingly juvenile, polished, and American. Pose currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois; he is a member of the acclaimed West Coast artist collective The Seventh Letter, as well as being a founder of his own Chicago based design and art firm We Are Supervision. He has traveled internationally on his own and with The Seventh Letter specifically to showcase his skills as one of the best graffiti artists out there. This is Pose's first solo exhibition at Known Gallery.
Known Gallery presents FORCED REBELLION by KC Ortiz
Rebels, Communists, CIA agents, and the legacy of a never ending "Secret War" all played their part in KC Ortiz's photo reportage on the remaining Hmong in the jungles of Laos, which opens at Known Gallery on May 22nd.For three weeks in December 2009 and January 2010, Ortiz lived with the jungle Hmong in order to document their plight and living conditions. Over a year of planning, secret meetings, and a clandestine entry into Laos brought him to the Hmong rebels and a world unseen by outsiders.
Ortiz's photos document the remaining Hmong in the mountainous jungles of Laos. The Hmong live a life constantly on the run from the Laos Peoples Army (LPA) and Vietnamese forces, systematically targeted for having served for the CIA during the Vietnam War. During that time they went where no American or ally could be, behind enemy lines in Laos, in what is referred to as the "Secret War". Their missions varied from rescuing downed American pilots to fighting off the North Vietnamese soldiers. Recognized as some of the world's greatest guerilla fighters, they served their American bosses, the CIA, with bravery and honor.
Unfortunately for the Hmong, changing political climates caused the US to pull out of the region, leaving them behind in an extremely hostile environment. Since that day, the Hmong have continued to fight for their survival against incredible odds. Thirty five years after the fall of Saigon, the Hmong still remain fighting the remnants of that long ago war, and live a life far forgotten by most in the world. Ortiz's work also invariably explores American foreign policy and questions the role and potential outcome of current allies in America's modern war fronts. Will history repeat itself? Will the United States abandon her current allies? Will others be left to the same doom the Hmong have faced?
The Hmong's struggle, desperation, daily lives, and ongoing fight were captured by Ortiz and will be shown under the title "Forced Rebellion" at Known Gallery. Ortiz's photos from his time in the jungle of Laos have been published in numerous international publications, including The Independent and A-Magasinet.
KC Ortiz is a photojournalist based out of his hometown, Chicago. His work focuses on under-reported issues and over looked people and has taken him to all corners of the globe in pursuit of his work.