Artist Profile: Mitch O’Connell (currently showing at Packer-Schopf Gallery)
While I’ve never bought the arguments against tattoos, my heart never, uh, burned for one until recently when I realized that getting inked might be a good way to commemorate some big changes in my life. Thankfully I’ve been too busy (and indecisive) to pull the trigger (although the gun has made its appearance and you know what they say). Midlife crises, even ones that occur extremely early in life like mine, are not the best time to make such permanent decisions.
Plus, who knows how trends will change? I can’t shake the fear that whatever I choose will look dated in a few years. Think about it; as much as you may have loved your mom’s olive green stove, I’ll bet you’re glad you don’t have one tattooed on your ass.
So I was happy to learn about Mitch O’Connell’s show at the Packer-Schopf Gallery, “God Has Forgiven Me (so what’s your problem?). O’Connell, who Tabu Tattoo Magazine called, “One of the defining artists of his generation,” liberally draws on tattoo art in his work, but his work’s gonzo zanyness and social critique result from the way he incorporates vintage advertisements, superheros, cartoons (these are a few of my favorite things) and other subcultures into a melting pot of imagery, which mockingly reflects our culture and asks us to consider how media has become the predominate force influencing our attitudes about things like sex, religion and status.
Or at least that’s how I interpret it. Visit Mitch O’Connell’s website to learn more about his work.
Packer-Schopf Gallery. 942 W. Lake St. Chicago. 312.226.8984 (through July 2nd)