The current show at Rotofugi store and gallery includes work by contemporary stencil artists Peat Wollaeger (stenSOUL), David Soukup and Jonathan Wakuda Fischer. Wollaeger’s and Fischer’s works are both about style and vivacious color. Fischer considers Ukiyo-e, the Japanese art form, to be the first form of popular art, and so he populates his art with references to it. Wollaeger’s work is more inspired by urban and graffiti culture—indeed, some of it has made its way outside the gallery and onto Chicago and Damen avenues. The third artist, Chicagoan Soukup, composes work entirely of depictions of the Chicago landscape. Soukup’s stencils are beyond detailed, using multiple stencils depicting objects as small and intricate as brick walls. Unlike Wollaeger and Fischer, Soukup’s work is mostly monochromatic, but he does incorporate the color of the wood supports to create beautiful sky scenes.
Stenciling is an inspiring art form because it can be very affordable to easily reproduce multiple pieces, and in this way it is interesting that both Wollaeger and Soukup also produce video work (another easily duplicable medium). Soukup’s videos are more commercial pieces, while Wollaeger has produced several “viral” internet videos, many about his stenciling craft. Some of the stand out pieces in this show are Wollaeger’s stencils on vintage television sets that illuminate his work, bringing video and stenciling together in an engaging way. (Sara McCool)
Through March 15 at Rotofugi, 1953 W. Chicago.