Burger King wants Chicago citizens to have it their way. If they are artsy, that is. Burger King Studio, 1904 West North, part art gallery, part think tank, comes to Wicker Park as a way for Burger King to not only “relate to young creative people in a big city,” but also to “create some amazing art, to see what kind of art is out there,” says Matthew Clay, one of the organizers of the studio’s Friday preview event. Chicago has been chosen as the experimental market to launch Burger King Studio, where local artists can interact and exhibit their work. Through well-known area art houses, Burger King searched for popular local artists. Among the introductory illustrators featured, all established in Chicago’s street-art scene, are Charlie Owens, Veggiesomething, Angel D’Amico, Blutt and Risk. While some may be pleased by Burger King’s unexpected sponsorship of the underground art scene, others are skeptical. “While I can’t speak for all artists, most tend to be anti-corporate. Burger King is one of the top corporations out there. I can’t see people thinking art and Burger King at the same time,” says Scott Speh, owner of Western Exhibitions in the West Loop. “It’s hard to see people buying this idea as legitimate, it’s a little off-the-wall. It’s always good for corporations to put money into local arts, so it will really depend on who they choose to direct it and whether or not they keep it in the community or make it a corporate line,” says Lucas Zenk, Stephen Daiter Gallery assistant and photographer. As an artist, he “would be interested in seeing the space and how they go about it.” The preview event is open to the public 7pm-10pm, and guests will have the opportunity to design custom silk-screen “HAVE IT YOUR WAY TEES” with the attending artists.
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