Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weston Morris' "Past" at Green Home Chicago

Weston Morris, artist

Eccentric Chicago artist Weston Morris unveiled Past, works by Weston Morris at Green Home Chicago February 6th. The colorful results can be seen as a exhilarating collaboration of time and space. Morris' vivid digital works playfully contrast the midcentury modern decor showroom in which they are presented. The "extension of furniture" concept, a theory of art perfecting the pairing of a fine art, furniture and design creates tingly feelings in the viewer, away from staid, blank, white gallery walls. Past features framed digital prints, sculptural objects and a new book based on a long-developed project, 50 Elvis Fans Can Be Wrong.

One can enjoy Past on a purely aesthetic level: vibrant color and contrasts. Muted tones are a hallmark of midcentury modern. Plum, avocado, tomato, and chocolate offer a richness of color without compromising their often subdued stylings. Morris' vivid psychedelia in deep red, green and blue hues trips, if not rips, through time and makes his palette pop off of the walls. Black and white photography, the oft-embedded elements of Morris' digitally manipulated works highlight a core contrast within a multitude of contrasts available with his new media art.

The content of Past as a retrospective of Morris art oeuvre, framed by the space in a trendy yet timeless contextualization of art at midcentury America and beyond. Morris works are whimsical, exhibiting a child-like wonderment at pop culture and games. Morris riffs on Elvis in his new book, 50 Elvis Fans Can Be Wrong. I wished the book itself was more visible as there was only one copy available at the retail location, but it is has been thoughtfully made available for purchase online. The original Polaroids that support the volume are present, but the bound photographic essay is an improvement.  50 Elvis Fans Can Be Wrong fuses the complexity of Joseph Beuys' "Everyone is an Artist" meme with Elvis' superstardom. It moves the context of Andy Warhol's Marilyn series into the crowdsourced internet age. While Morris' works put the celebration and whimsy back in celebrity, they are grounded in the seriousness of mid century modern: clean lines, international style, eco-minimalism, earthy, and practical home decor that contrasts nicely and contextualize the works on display.

The one question that Past demands is: "Is it nostalgic?" Morris' works reference a past that is personal yet very accessible. The richness of contrasts inherent in the work and its context in a Chicago design space reminds that past is merely prologue to Morris' contemporary vision. Weston Morris' Past is a thoughtfully engaging show assembled with tidy production values. See it paired with Green Home Designs stylish interiors through April 2015 at Green Home Chicago on Morgan St in the West Loop. Be sure to visit the artist's website at