Pilsen Open Studios is a great annual event that showcases the artistic talent this neighborhood houses. But this year’s open studios were especially exciting because Adrian exhibited a sampling of his new HEX by ADR work as part of the Expo Collective pop up gallery. It was a wonderful opportunity for him to see peoples’ reactions to the work and answer questions about where the inspiration for his paintings came from.
One common question he got was where the faces in HEX by ADR came from. Adrian answered, “I take people I know and combine their features with random people I find on the internet. I mash up their faces and then paint them. They’re monsters in that way.”
I was proud to see Adrian’s work exhibited alongside a group of other talented artists. I loved the paintings of Ricardo Gonzalez, which are heavily influenced by themes of Latino identity. The illustrations of Maria Gonzalez were so colorful and intricate. The fun paintings by Jose “Hozarts” Ramirez were street art on canvas. And no one could stop looking at the provocative work of Xeno Martinez.
I also had a chance to check out some of the other venues on the Pilsen Open Studios map, including Prospectus Art Gallery and La Casa de Arte y Cultura “Calles y Suenos.” At Prospectus, I got to see in person an artist whose postcard I had actually picked up at Blue 1647 earlier, Hector Barron. His detailed, complex mixed media works of art seem almost anatomical.
On my second day of wandering, I checked out the open studios stops by Dvorak Park, an area I hadn’t visited before. I loved exploring the venues in that nook of Pilsen, but I especially loved discovering the murals there. A colorful mural on Cullerton by Carpenter celebrated Latino culture and pride in the neighborhood. Then, as I approached the park, I saw an entire wall of Egyptian-inspired murals. If you know me, you know I’m mildly obsessed with Ancient Egypt, so this was a very unexpected find!