In his “Coffee Table Art Book,” Robert Crumb cited his extensive LSD use as the personal pastime with the greatest influence on his artwork. Among Chicago artist Joey D’s pastimes are crime fighting and larping. The charming, irreverent humor Joey D. uses in penning his statement becomes considerably more warped and outrageous when transferred to his art, forty pieces of which cover the walls of Rotofugi Gallery. The vibrant rainbow of acrylics utilized by D produce eye-popping images of demented children, shark-headed freaks and, along one entire wall, pen and pencil sketches of “Mooks,” twenty-two sideshow caricatures of hyper-proboscised, bug-eyed oddities who, on sepia-colored paper, create a class portrait of the children of the damned. As intriguing as Joey D’s portraits may be, his real talent lies in his use of alternative media, as with “You Guys Got Me,” a vibrant, mural-like scene painted on an aluminum stop sign, or his “Deluxe Dinette Chair,” which features the image of a child only a mother could love painted on the bottom of a found chair seat. Though the “Mooks” and mad things he opts to create might not be every viewer’s idea of beautiful art, Joey D’s attention to detail and ambitious palette are wonderfully refreshing and delightfully wild. (Jaime Calder)
Through August 30 at Rotofugi, 1955 W Chicago Ave (312) 491-9501.