Mark Ballog: Making Space

Opening: Friday, Nov 18, 2022 6 – 9 pm
Friday, Nov 18, 2022 – Jan 28, 2023

201 S. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60607

Chase Gallery at Epiphany Center for the Arts  |  Opening Reception: REGISTER HERE

Making Space is a four-year project in which Photographer Mark Ballogg documented 164 artist studios in Chicago culminating in a book to be published in 2022. Each studio visit consisted of two hours of photography followed by an hour of recorded conversation with the artist. Before visiting each studio, Ballogg familiarized himself with each artist and their work through online research. Those insights along with ideas gleaned during the studio photography form the framework for each conversation. The studios are thus explored as a reflection of artists and their practices.

In November of 2018, Mark Ballogg visited the Lincoln Park studio of Sculptor Richard Hunt. Since 1971, Richard has worked on his sculpture and drawings in a former Chicago Transit Authority power substation. The scale and visual complexity of Richard’s studio overflowed with possibilities. That visit was the inspiration to create a series of images of the spaces artists use to conceive of and make their work. After fleshing out the idea and reviewing several existing photo books on artists’ studios, he realized the potential to create visually engaging images that uniquely expressed the scope, individuality, and function of artist’s spaces. The addition of artists quotes which will be included as excepts in the upcoming book helped create a more insightful and nuanced body of work.

In the process of creating Making Space, both the temperament of creative people and the character of the region where they work was revealed. A wide range of artists, in all aspects of gender, practice, and defining circumstances are included, and the conversations touch on all things Art; from the individual artists’ relationship with their studio and practice, to such questions as what is art and why make art. The result is a book with intermingling narratives illuminating the intersections of thoughts and structures, of stories and circumstances, and ambitions and their material realization.