Distirrbed Not Shaken

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Friday, March 15, 2013 - 7:00pm - Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 7:00pm

“Distirrbed Not Shaken,” featuring the fanciful nightlife paintings of Chicago artist Laura Lee Junge, opens Friday March 15 with a unique ‘twist’.

The solo exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave. will run from the March 15 opening (7pm-11pm) thru May 5, 2013.

For the occasion, Junge introduces two new paintings in the ‘nightlife’ genre, to complete a series of capricious and whimsical work six years in the ‘brewing.’

Reception and exhibit are free to the public. Hailing the event as ‘A Taste of Paintings,’ opening night will animate Junge’s chimerical works of personified liquors thru the collaborative efforts of Bacardi U.S.A. in Chicago. A piece specifically created for the event, ‘Sapphire Supremacy,’ is a tribute to Bombay Sapphire’s support of the arts and artists throughout the country. ‘Intoxicating,’ often used to describe Junge’s paintings, proves literally true in this exhibit. The characterized bottles in each work play with the viewers, challenging them to enter a magical saloon where a scruffy, personified Jack Daniels cowboy duels it out with an equally intimidating Cuervo 1800. If a more uplifting mood strikes, join an Irish Pub parade, led by sassy drum major Dewars or dare to take on the depths of the Caribbean where a cocky Capt. Morgan surveys surrounding treasures from the sea. From the frozen pleasures of the Snow Queen, holding sway over her icy realm to snuggling up with a dapper Mr. Ménage a Trois, happily sharing a vat-tub with both Miss Kendall Jackson and Ms. Sutter Home, the characters themselves captivate the senses. The myriad of details in Junge’s paintings invite one to pursue a type of scavenger hunt, knowing there are yet many treasures to be discovered at the next glance. Junge’s two newest works, ‘Beer Ball’ and ‘Sapphire Supremacy’ depict the same illusion of luring the viewer into a special world. In ‘Beer Ball,’ bottles and cans take on the role of recognizable sports figures as they charge across the canvas. A far more sophisticated scene plays out in ‘Sapphire Supremacy’, with her majesty entertained by a James Bond Martini resting on her ‘hip’ and carried on a reclined throne by an array of personified ‘accoutrements.’ “My favorite part of each painting is imagining the overall scene and narrative. After that it is the discovery of finding just the right bottle to ‘audition’ for the role a specific character might play in the piece,” comments Junge. In addition to the lighter, humorous details in her work, there are hints in the paintings of a darker side to alcohol in general. The title piece, ‘Distirrbed Not Shaken’ reflects a world where drink has been taken to the extreme. The outside world becomes unfocused as customers dissolve into their drinks when night turns to early morning. Junge clearly demonstrates that for all the frivolity depicted, there is a very serious side her work as well. To set the proper atmosphere for the opening, Bacardi U.S.A. is creating a gala evening of entertainment. For six of the Signature pieces of the show, Bacardi U.S.A. will provide drinks based on a feature in each painting, offered at a ‘station’ set up by the individual work. Thus the jaunty characters in the works will provide a setting to share with the viewer, creating a rare opportunity to become a part of the artwork. As Junge herself admits, “it gives me great joy to create a body of work that can bring a smile to someone’s face and, perhaps, a moment’s relief from life’s hardships.” Exhibit Highlights: “Vintage Vino” A wine cellar full of casks is the stage for this menagerie of favorite reds, whites and roses. In one corner the elegant French ‘King’ Chateau Mouton Rothchild spills drops of his favorite cherished wine much to the dismay of Cardinal Chateaus du Pape standing behind him. Tangoing on a cask in the background, the Spanish reds attempt to outdo a Pavoratti- aced Ruffino Chianti, bellowing out an aria while holding tightly to Miss DaVinci. And, not to be outdone, Ms. Cupcake lounges among the grapes as Opus One divides his attention between her and the seductive siren on his other side. All this plays out for the rest of the wine-folk, happily enjoying their own evening. “Paradise Punch” This tribute to rum brings an ensemble of well-known logos to life. Captain Morgan dominates the foreground of the painting, enchanted by a mermaid cocktail. A Bacardi tattoo flanks the buff chest of a nearby sunbather as he lounges at the floating bar. Sliced limes and prickly pineapples make merry as a shark is in hot pursuit of agile Red Stripe Jamaican beer water-skiers. Island Pucker cozies up to a sultry bottle of Batuque under a thatched roof island hut. “Sapphire Supremacy” A saucily seductive Ms. Bombay Sapphire lounges in luxury, born aloft by four of her subjects -- as befits such royalty. A debonair Martini cocktail is somewhat precariously perched on her left hip, while her personal attendants carry her along. Each of them not only represent various garnishes associated with gin, but also assume the characteristics of iconic British personages. As queen, she reigns superior to all other brands and glitters with the ‘Bombay Sapphire’ emblem prominent both on her curvaceous body and in the 'star of Sapphire' pendant around her neck. The Jackson Junge Gallery features the work of Laura Lee Junge and other contemporary artists. The Gallery is open every day of the week, free of charge. Hours are Monday thru Saturday: 11am – 8pm, Sunday: 12 Noon – 5pm. For more information, visit www.J2Gallery.com. # # # High resolution images are available upon request

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