Damon Locks: The World Is a Different Place

Damon Locks. “The World Is a Different Place,” 2017. Xerox.

GOLDFINCH is very proud to present The World Is a Different Place, a solo exhibition of recent drawings, screen prints, digital prints, Xerox prints and a comic by Damon Locks, a Chicago visual artist, musician, sound artist, deejay, and educator whose multifarious endeavors epitomize the fluid, trans-disciplinary and socially-engaged nature of today’s most vital artistic practices. The exhibition will focus on Locks’ visual artwork, and will also feature several large-scale color photographs documenting his recent collaborations with the youth dance company Move Me Soul and musician Damien Thompson.

As a founder of The Eternals as well as the Black Monument Ensemble, and with the jazz ensemble Exploding Star Orchestra, Locks performs frequently in Chicago and also tours nationally and internationally. As an educator, he is currently an artist-in-residence with the MCA Chicago’s SPACE (School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement) program, a multiyear creative residency that places an artist, and their studio, in a Chicago public high school to transform the school space(s) into a site for artistic and civic exchange. He also teaches art to men at Stateville, a maximum security prison, through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. In 2014, Locks and eleven artists from Stateville collaborated with animator Rob Shaw on the acclaimed video animation Freedom Time, which was commissioned for the exhibition Unfinished Business: Right to Play at Jane Addams Hull House Museum. This past November at the MCA, Locks performed Right On, Be Free, a sound essay on race in America, which took the form of a two-hour deejay set that spanned different musical genres and proposed that records can be thought of as aural history books.

The World Is a Different Place is the first exhibition to focus solely on Damon Locks’ visual artwork. Along with numerous examples of his original drawings, prints and collage pieces, this presentation will include a resource room curated by Locks containing books, art, record covers, and other materials the artist wishes to share with visitors.

Locks himself describes The World Is a Different Place as “documenting a moment in time,” specifically the past year or so of his studio practice. “Having submerged myself in sound projects, including making sound for dancers/movement and theater, I felt it was time to give energy back to my first love, the visual,” he notes. “I’ve come to the realization that all of my practices–visual, sound, community building, teaching–are a part of one whole. I am doing my best to find ways to make connections for the audience when I can.”

Shared ideas, themes and titles draw the diverse pieces in the show together. “This moment finds me building bridges between the work,” Locks explains. “The sound work for dance is influencing my visual work and teaching and vice versa. I am attempting to consciously highlight and build on that. My tools for all my jobs now are ink, photography, books, speakers, records and sampler, as it should be.”  Although Locks’ socially-engaged practices do not typically include gallery exhibitions, The World Is a Different Place enables the artist, in his words, “to stop along the way to take note, to observe, to let the beat play out and listen to what the artwork looks like.”

Artist’s BioDamon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician, and deejay. He attended The Art Institute in Chicago where he received his BFA in Fine Arts. Recently, he has been lending his artistic and/or teaching talents to organizations such as the Prisons and Neighborhood Arts Project, Art Reach, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. He is a 2015 recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Achievement Award in the Arts and participated in The New Quorum music residency in New Orleans. He was a 2016 MAKER Grant awardee and a 2017 Soros Justice Fellowship recipient. 

Damon Locks in Conversation with Hilesh Patel, Deputy Director of the Hyde Park Art Center, Saturday, February 10th, 3:30pm

Exhibition Opening Reception: Sunday, January 7, 3-6pm | Performance by Damon Locks at 4:30pm with Surprise Special Guests

Exhibition on view January 7 – February 10, 2018
Regular Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 12-4pm, and by appt.

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THE EXHIBITION BROCHURE HERE: DamonLocks_final

Installation view of “The World Is a Different Place.”  Photo credit: Daniel Hojnacki.

 

 

Installation view of “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo credit: Daniel Hojnacki.

 

Damon Locks performing at the Opening Reception of ‘The World Is a Different Place.’ Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Damon Locks performing with Damien Thompson on percussion at the opening reception of “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Damon Locks with dancers from the Move Me Soul company performing during the opening reception of ‘The World Is a Different Place.’ Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Move Me Soul dancers performing with Damon Locks at the opening reception of “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Move Me Soul dancer performing with Damon Locks at the opening reception of “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Opening reception of “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo by Claudine Isé.

 

Exhibition Resource Room in “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo credit: Daniel Hojnacki.

 

Exhibition Resource Room (detail) in “The World Is a Different Place.” Photo credit: Daniel Hojnacki.