Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony Fitzpatrick - The City Etchings

Last week I ate at Blackbird for the first time and in the Men’s restroom one wall was entirely covered with a curtain. Behind the curtain were large letters that said “WHY ARE YOU LOOKING BACK HERE?” and a framed Tony Fitzpatrick print titled Secret Birds.

Yesterday, Fitzpatrick had a piece in the Tribune celebrating Chicago and its influence on his work.

I believe there is a magical Chicago — one that transcends the rusted, steel-belted old tropes of Sandburg poems. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Sandburg poems. They are the seminal text of my work. They are also very old and unforgiving. They also sometimes miss those moments when this city is heart-stoppingly beautiful. Like when I was 7 years old, riding in my father’s big shark of an Oldsmobile, in the dead of winter, past Chicago Stadium and seeing a boy, no bigger than I was, walking three enormous costumed elephants through the snow into the back of the old barn. I had never seen anything like it. It was one of those moments where the incongruities meld into a magical reality — elephants on Damen Avenue in the middle of the gray West Side. That was the day that I was hypnotized by Chicago. It is a spell I am still under.

At the end of the month, The Architrouve (1433 W Chicago) will have a show of Fitzpatrick’s The City Etchings (1993-2003). The show runs April 27 – June 30, 2007. There’s an opening night party on Friday, April 27, from 7-10 pm with beer by Three Floyds and hot dogs by Hot Dougs.

(Tribune article via Gapers Block)

Update: I wrote "Fitzgerald" for "Fitzpatrick" twice in the post above and didn’t catch it even when Ratpig called it out in the comments. I apologize to both Mr. Fitzpatrick and Ratpig. And all of you.

4 Comments so far

  1. Ratpig (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    Who’s Tony Fitzgerald???

  2. Fuzzy (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:45 pm
  3. Ratpig (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 3:48 pm


    Was waiting for you to catch that! Love your posts all the time. Always interesting stuff. Keep it up.

  4. Michael Stauffer (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

    I am trying to find copy of the recent Tribune article aobut Tony. I have beenusing his work in classes and would love to include the article in class readings. Any help out there?
    thanks, Michael

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