Few raw artists exist in today’s world of over-stimulation and waste. Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, a self-taught and self-proclaimed “refuse alchemist,” uses only tape, scissors and trash to shape sculptures without preconceived plans of their finished appearance. Alley-Barnes builds upon his sculptures as the ideas take shape in his mind, creating works of layered dimension.
Though the sculptures of “Nocturne” are all black and made of similar materials—milk jugs, modified shipping crates, plastic bags—perhaps the only underlying theme is the environmental and social statement. Alley-Barnes’ sculptures are approximately five pounds—the weight each American contributes to landfills daily. His pieces are meant to convey a statement about the artist through the reuse of his daily waste and to connect the viewer to the art as well as to the waste of their own lives. In addition to providing a poignant social message the sculptures are bold and captivating. Distorted faces and oversized crows leer from the walls of the gallery. For those who long for natural beauty and an unfettered creativity Alley-Barnes is the artist to check out this summer. (Rachel Turney)
Through August 6 at Artistic Jeanius, 1711 S. Halstead, (312) 912-1444.