Jon Langford art show at Tony Fitzpatrick’s studio a full-circle second

The opening of an exhibition of musician and artist Jon Langford’s paintings at The Dime, 1513 N. Western Avenue, is a entire-circle second for Langford and artist and gallery owner Tony Fitzpatrick, who hosted Langford’s first exhibition back again in 1993 — 5 years following conference him for the initially time.

Langford, who is from Wales in Fantastic Britain, was nearby Graceland in Memphis in 1988 with Sally Timms (a bandmate from their punk band The Mekons), when Fitzpatrick, who they satisfied at a club show the night ahead of, ran into them even though on the run from what he phone calls the “Elvis cops,” aka the security personnel, at the iconic residence. Fitzpatrick had tried to sneak into a prohibited spot in the property, specially upstairs to locate the King’s bedroom.

Fitzpatrick corroborated Langford’s recollection of the gatherings, introducing that he eluded his pursuers by working into a strip mall across the street from Graceland, where by he proceeded to chat up the musicians. Fitzpatrick gave them his enterprise card and did not believe much about it until he observed Langford all over again at Metro a few many years afterwards, just after the punk rocker had moved forever to Chicago.

“He was performing these drawings for New Town and one particular evening I ran into Jon and instructed him about an etching push that I owned. Following that, he arrived down and produced an intensive system of perform over a several many years,” Fitzpatrick stated.

Langford claimed Fitzpatrick instilled in him the self esteem that art could be more than a passion for the rocker.

“There ended up a few walls in my head that I had to crack down,” Langford reported. “Tony handed me the sledgehammer. He informed me, ‘you’re heading to do an artwork show at my gallery, you’re going to make some etchings at my studio and it is likely to be truly good’ — and he was right on all counts. I was a disillusioned punk rocker who experienced just been fired by a main label. It was like a person throwing a drowning male a rope.”

Fitzpatrick reported Langford’s art has grown a good deal from when he 1st fulfilled him but has often experienced an edge to it.

“When I very first started out functioning with him he was genuinely locked into the space race of the 1950s among the U.S. and the Russians. [The works] had been normally satirical but by no means cruel,” Fitzpatrick claimed, adding that Langford’s topic issue is extra wide than in years past, but continue to pointed and cheeky.

“They are typically about how someone from another English-talking nation seen us from afar.”

The paintings on wooden are generally manufactured with acrylic, oils and pastels, along with distinct glazes, Langford explained.

Fitzpatrick mentioned he has wanted to host an additional present for Langford since 2012, but conflicting schedules obtained in the way until they teamed up in April for “Cinderella Blackbird,” a night of poems and songs in memory of the late WXRT DJ Lin Brehmer. Fitzpatrick stated it was whilst planning for that present that he informed Langford “let’s not allow the yr get away from us,” and they agreed on February.

The two artists function perfectly collectively for the reason that, as Fitzpatrick reported, each “never definitely in good shape in to the blue-chip, wine-and-cheese artwork earth.”

Langford agreed, stating “I just grew to become an American citizen this 7 days and still feel like an outsider.”

The present opened February 16 to a packed home, and was not like a common artwork opening. At instances, Langford grabbed his guitar and played some tunes with Timms, John Szymanski and Martin Billheimer. Fitzpatrick experienced to send out for extra beer and wine just 10 minutes after the official begin. But there was no slam dancing and the focus of most who attended was on the 18 paintings in the present, most of which have been developed in the final 4 months.

Langford mentioned the 15 new items “ended up very substantially educated by the procedures I figured out with Tony again in 1993,” which was yet another full-circle second, which he stated he thought about a whole lot above the final few months.

A working day just after the opening, Langford was back at The Dime to greet persons who couldn’t make it the night in advance of. He claimed he’ll be there usually, in particular on weekends all through the operate, to fulfill his followers. Reflecting on the public’s response so considerably, he claimed it felt like a homecoming.

“It feels like Chicago set its arm all around me and gave me a hug. Chicago has a practice of doing that, it is a spot that’s generally supported my innovative weirdness.”