In his day job as a re-designer of newspapers, photographer Ron Reason traveled to Kenya to spruce up Nairobi’s Standard (the Sun-Times of East Africa) and ventured with his camera into Kibera, a vast slum that was a focal point of resistance in the country’s recent presidential election. From Reason’s group and individual color portraits of Kibera’s children, flashing smiles and every possible hand signal, you would never know that they live engulfed in poverty and crime. Reason also shot the commercial facades adorned with street paintings and graffiti-dotted walls of Kibera, and those images are the most telling and impactful. In a wild montage of small snapshots, Reason captures Kibera’s exuberance and unexpected ironic attitude; on a dilapidated shack, direction signs have been placed with arrows pointing to “Amerika” and “China”; on a crumbling wall, we read the words, “Another Kibera State of Art Museum.” (Michael Weinstein)
Through July 3 at within(Reason), 1932 S. Halsted. (773)562-7464.