Preview: John Dempsey @ Elmhurst Art Museum, Chicago

June 15, 2012

John Dempsey doubles as Billy Tokyo. Like many artists, Dempsey works in two distinct styles, but unlike most he has an exhibition history in both styles—and so he utilizes two names, and two exhibitions. John Dempsey’s “Urban Nature” and Billy Tokyo’s “The Shapes of Things to Come” is currently on view at the Elmhurst Art Museum in Chicago, with the opening reception tonight. Dempsey’s large and ambitious solo exhibitions at Elmhurst Art Museum feature 65 piece, including a 50-foot mural he created inside the museum using only MTN and KRINK markers, donated by MTN Colors. Likewise MTN contributed "The Girl with the Golden Lips" using Montana spray paint on linen and mounted on cut wood.


Opening reception: 6:30–8:00pm


On view through August 25, 2012


Elmhurst Art Museum

150 Cottage Hill Ave

Elmhurst, IL 60126


About the Artist


John Dempsey was 2010’s Chicago Art Loop Open winner with his painting “The Great American Landscape,” which was the city’s first public voting contest. Dempsey abstracts graffiti typography and simplifies natural forms in a mash up toward something new. He employs oil paint as a non-traditional graffiti medium on canvas and wooden structures. Born in Evanston and raised in Chicagoland, he received a partial art scholarship from the Woman’s Club of Evanston, and attended Ohio University where he studied art under Aethelred Eldridge.


Billy Tokyo was the visual artist for Lollapalooza 2009 and SXSW 2010; Tokyo’s show The Shapes of Things to Come will include more than 60 new works ranging from paintings to wooden sculptures. The influence of the Chicago Imagists is evident in Tokyo's representational artwork that plays on the subject matter, and the materials that made them, with extreme creativity. Tokyo takes on an original attitude to the neo-pop Japanese genre of contemporary art while aiming to blur the boundaries between East and West.


About Elmhurst Art Museum


The Museum’s mission is to provide the people of Elmhurst and surrounding communities with a center for visual arts - known for its welcoming atmosphere - where art can be viewed, studied, created and appreciated in an architecturally significant facility that enriches the lives of our visitors by broadening their knowledge, increasing sensitivity to the fine arts, and sparking the development of their own creative talents. As the cultural center of DuPage County, the museum specializes in late 20th Century American Art in an award-winning building designed around McCormick House, one of only three Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed residences built in the United States.