The work of Mathias “Spider” Schergen (his nickname given by his students) is produced from materials found in Chicago neighborhoods. Shown in conjunction with the fashion-forward offerings at Phaiz, the work highlights the role of the artist/designer as editor rather than creator. Spider’s work is not “found art” arranged into new pieces. Instead, his materials are heavily edited to meet the criteria of drawing, carving and cutting. The work exposes the beauty and novelty of rot and rust mostly as a consequence of his chosen found materials—the natural rather than the manmade: wood and metal, no pink-plastic dollar-store-trash items. The whole series is held together with a rustic palette of browns, blacks and dark yellows, and each piece contains multiple visual “treasures” to be found. Green plastic hoses are used as subtle framing overlapping sliced skateboards decks, and vintage rosewood clock faces surprise and delight. (Sara McCool)
Through August 6 at PHAIZ, 673 N. Milwaukee.