Midwestern! Punk! Mom! is a three word title that both describes artist Ellen Greene as a person as well the three phases of development in her artwork.
In her latest exhibition that Greene describes as a “DIY retrospective”, her art and objects hang on the gallery walls of the Evanston Gallery, 1100 Florence, with painted text and infographics surrounding them. Together they tell Ellen’s story of her life in art.
“I am obsessed with reading memoirs and wanted to try my hand at it. But the words and memories wouldn’t come. I kept digging into my storage unit for objects that would trigger memories and hopefully words. Then it hit me. I think in pictures, and I make pictures. My artwork and objects are the core of the story. My whole life things like zines, journals, records, toys, books, clothes and photographs influenced my work. Also that work was in direct response to what I was going through emotionally and therefore completing to the overarching narrative. Call it a ‘DIY retrospective’ or ‘punk rock show and tell’… its my life and my stuff so I just want to share it in the most direct way I know how: put it up on a wall and then write about it.”
Greene’s art is diverse, spanning the period of 40 some years, and includes everything from childhood drawings to her well known “tattooed gloves” to self portrait oil paintings. In Midwestern! Punk! Mom! Greene’s narrative, like her work is unflinching. From intense subjects like sex and addiction to the banality of growing up in the Midwest, Ellen is brutally honest in word and image. As one of her mid 90’s self portrait polaroid pieces instruct: “Delicate People should look away.” but those who dare to look will be rewarded with a refreshing vulnerability.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 6-8p
Artist Talk, Sunday, September 15, 3-5p
Closing Party, September 19, 6-8p
1100 Florence Gallery is located at 1100 Florence Avenue in Evanston, IL 60202.
Gallery hours are Sunday 12-5p, Wednesday 6-8p and Friday 6-8p.