Peripheral Visions is a collaborative project that I began in the spring of 2008 with Buffalo, New York artist Bruce Philip Bitmead. As a curator and gallerist I was organizing exhibitions for the fall of 2008 at my Chicago studio/gallery, Studio 207. I wanted to work with one artist and to take the artist out of the gallery into the open.
Peripheral Visions has been referred to as sketchbook to the curb, works of fine art presented in public spaces. It afforded the artist an opportunity to showcase his art works in one large alternative neighborhood space, in this case Wicker Park on Chicago’s north side.
The works exhibited are original drawings, not copies or posters. The idea was to place the drawings in the public space in order to see how the elements and the general public would respond to them. The cover depicts the evolving process of Peripheral Visions. This image, drawn from the completed painting Lovers, lasted only a few days before someone tore it down. What was left was an expressionistic remnant with aesthetic qualities reminiscent of a Bitmead painting.
This is the first time that fragmented images and abstraction are combined in a most unusual Bitmead work. The original Lovers drawing, which Bitmead completed in the summer of 2008, was placed on the street October 17, 2008. The final result, the photograph, ends the process and creates the collaboration between Bitmead, Siska and the streets, resulting in the final documentation, the book you are reading right now.
The book, Peripheral Visions, includes three paintings and the drawings based on the paintings, as well as drawings which were not drawn from the paintings. There are also drawings that have not yet hit the street included in this book. The drawings that have not hit the street will be placed, documented and presented on the Studio 207 web site, www.studio207.tv.