Thursday, March 23, 2006

mca press release is out for upcoming show...

March 23, 2006

Media Contacts:
Erin Baldwin 312.397.3828
Karla Loring 312.397.3834
Irène Hodes 312.397.3832


Gold lockets, skinny dipping, and writing with sparklers are the subjects of Jason Lazarus’s unique self-portraits at April’s 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work exhibition that opens at First Fridays on April 7, 2006, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago. Lazarus’s photographs are part of his ongoing series, Self-Portrait as an Artist, which uses considerable wit in looking at the often ambiguous identity of a contemporary artist and his role in society. Lazarus came to the contemporary art world after an education and career in business, intending for his “conceptual portraits” to simultaneously confirm and disrupt our expectations of artists. He also examines other aspects of his life, including the fact that he has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare condition of the musculoskeletal system. His exhibition runs in conjunction with the MCA programming for the city-wide Bodies of Work: The Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture in April.

Lazarus’s work explores the world of contemporary art with a playful irreverence. Self-Portrait as an Artist as Someone Special (pictured) focuses on a humorous and intimate close-up of Lazarus’s chest with a gold locket purchased at Wal-Mart. In Self-Portrait as an Artist Burning Down the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, a masked Lazarus pours what appears to be gasoline on the front steps of the museum. Self-Portrait as an Artist Making Something Contemporary shows the word “contemporary” spelled out with the lights from a sparkler created during a long exposure. In addition to his self portraits, Lazarus also presents photographs of intimate historical moments which intend to seduce the viewer into learning more.

Lazarus received his B.S. in marketing from DePaul University, and his M.F.A. in photography from Columbia College, Chicago. He currently teaches photography at Columbia College, Robert Morris College, and at Chicago’s Marwen Foundation. He leads a tour of his exhibition on Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30 pm with a sign language interpreter and descriptive narrator. A second tour precedes the Universal Design panel on Tuesday, April 25, at 5 pm. This also is accompanied by a sign language interpreter and descriptive narrator.

April First Fridays is all about celebrity glamour as the MCA celebrates the recent opening of ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Death, and Disasters 1962-1964. Guests are invited to take photos in one of the photo booths, sip an Absolut Absolut Star Cosmo, and meet new friends at the popular iMac G5 digital dating bar. Live music is provided by One Hit Wonder band. There is an after-party at Le Passage (937 N. Rush).

First Fridays tickets, which includes museum admission and complimentary Wolfgang Puck hors d’oeuvres, are available the evening of the event for $14 ($7 for MCA members). Advance tickets are $10 ($7 MCA members) available through the MCA Box Office at 312.397.4010 or Doors are open from 6 - 10 pm. A cash bar is open until 9:30 pm. Guests must be 21 or older to enter.


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