David Heo: Honey and Smoke

Opening: Saturday, Mar 7, 2020 6 – 9 pm
Saturday, Mar 7 – 28, 2020

1016 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Vertical Gallery is very proud to present “Honey and Smoke,” a solo exhibit spotlighting Chicago artist David Heo. Running from March 7-28, 2020, “Honey and Smoke” assembles a series of paintings and collages exploring the underbelly of social settings like bars and nightclubs — after-hours milieus where human interactions can suddenly and irrevocably erupt into animalistic violence.

A native of rural Acworth, Georgia, Heo took his earliest creative inspiration from the drawings of his older brother. As a teen he immersed himself in tattooing, a craft that deeply influenced the hard edges, detailed imagery and bold color palette that are hallmarks of his work today. Heo received his Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; while at SAIC, he frequently employed non-traditional materials like crayons, house paint and construction paper, anticipating the collages on display in “Honey and Smoke.” “I didn’t have the money to spend a lot on materials, or the luxury of having time. I was thinking about practicality while still translating my work coherently,” Heo recalls. “The idea of using these materials came from that. But it also came from a place of familiarity — the materials I used as a kid.” 

Image: Mixed media collage works on paper