Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Studio Visit with Female Artist ZorZorZor

We met up with female, Chicago-based street artist Zor Zor Zor in studio 404 at Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport that she shares with graffiti writer Zore. Zor Zor Zor just wrapped up her first solo exhibition with Elephant Room Gallery that was at our South Loop location from May through July 2016 and has her own mural in the Wabash Arts Corridor.  We sat down with her to chat about how she got started as a street artist, her inspirations, her collaboration with artist Zore and her travels in Paris, Berlin, California and beyond.  

How did you get started as an artist?

Straight out of High School I went to Harrington College of Design for Interior Design and I had basic art classes like a color class and drawing 101 but the course wasnt focused on art, it was focused on Interior Design. Once we started getting into Autocad and drawing floor plans, I realized that it wasnt the thing for me.   So, I finished the two-year program and I started traveling instead.  I went to Paris as my first trip on my own.  I was 20.  I had nothing to do there.  I was there for 5 weeks visiting my friend and I would wander around and take pictures, meet people, do whatever and I really got interested in the street art and the graffiti there because it was so cool to me and so fun. I loved seeing graffiti in different parts of the city and getting to recognize the different artists.  So I bought my first cans of spray paint and just started drawing on everything there and as soon as I came to Chicago I started doing it here.  It was very natural; I wasnt thinking too hard about it.  I was just drawing, drawing, drawing and whatever came out, came out and then the drawings slowly developed into the face that I now always draw. 

I know that Paris is known for having specific areas where you are allowed to go and paint.  Were you painting in those areas?

No... I was just going wherever- it was the best time of my life.  I would just hop on the train, and I realized it was impossible to get lost because Paris is so small compared to Chicago.  Anywhere you walk youll find a train stop and once you find a train stop youll be able to get back to wherever you need to go.  So, I would literally just get off at different parts of the city and wander around but I didnt discover the specific spots to paint until my last days.

Did you have friends that you would go paint with or was it purely self-driven?

It was completely self-driven.  I was staying with a friend but she was in a study abroad program so she was in school and she also just wasnt very adventurous I guess.  I had a really great time though.  I remember a week in I got invited to this party by a random person that gave me a flyer on the street and I found the location somehow and got in and made some friends there and became really good friends with this one guy.  He became my friend for the rest of the trip.  So I would hang out a lot with him.   He actually took me to my first paint shop because I didnt know where one was and he was like Oh I know where you can get some.  So it was all really random and.awesome.
Before my trip I never really had an interest in street art.  I went to Kennedy High School and I remember in class I had a friend, Christian, who would draw my name all the time in graffiti letters but I never really thought about it too much as far as like Oh thats really cool, Id like to do that.   In Paris it was really the street art, the fun and the mystery behind it, that captivated me because you dont know whose doing it.  I just loved it a lot. 

So then when you came back to Chicago you continued tagging.  How did you continue to develop as an artist from there?

I came home and was doing it because I had nothing to do really since I wasnt in school.  I was kind of working but I was basically just floating around and sleeping on friends couches and doing whatever in the city and drawing all the time.  I would put stickers up not thinking like, Oh I want to be this person or this artistbut simply doing it because it was fun.  But then I remember when my friends first started commenting on it like Oh, I saw your tag here” or “Oh, I saw your tag in this bathroom hereand I saw how much they enjoyed it and that pushed me to keep doing it I think.  It really just was so much fun, thats what it was for me.  Ill never forget when I realized that people I didnt know started posting pictures of my work on the Internet and snapping it or hash tagging it.  I would look myself up and realize that people were reacting and paying attention to my work. 

I was also still very into traveling.  As soon as I would save up enough money, I wanted to go somewhere new.  After Paris I went to New York, then Costa Rica, then California, Minneapolisin some kind of order like that.  It was kind of the same experience as Paris.  I knew a friend but I wouldnt necessarily hang out with that person the whole time and I would just walk around discovering things like a child.  I wanted to leave my mark in these new places, not knowing if I would ever visit them again, so I would leave stickers and tags everywhere I walked. From stickers it moved onto stenciling and then wheat pastes. Before leaving home I would create a stencil, unique to each new place that I was going to, and spray it onto a piece of newspaper and wheat paste it places.  From there, people in New York started taking pictures of my stuff and hash tagging it.  Then people in California started to too and it became this whole collection, which kept pushing me to keep doing it.  But I think when I started doing the wheat pastes was when I realized that Im not just a tagger but that Im actually an artist.  As I kept creating, I had friends that started to want to hang things in their houses and then that eventually developed into commissions.  I began to realize I could make money off of my art and from there also started hanging work in shows.  It was just a slow, natural progression.  I never, never in my life had the intention of becoming an artist.  But it became something that I really, really enjoyed doing and I wanted to do it all the time.  I always have ideas and I always see things that I want to do or am inspired by. 

Where did the Alias Zor Zor Zor come from?

Well, Z, O, and R are three of the letters in my last name and I have a difficult Polish last name that throughout my life no one could really pronounce, so when I was 17 or 18 my friends just started calling me Zor. Getting into street art and that worldpeople all have aliass so my name just kind of developed from that.  Im not sure why I decided to have ‘Zorrepeat itself three times.  I guess I like pairs of three. 

What were some of your first commissions?

I remember my first sale but that wasnt a commission.  I did two stencils on newspaper; normally something that I would wheat paste but I hung them up at Canvas in Wicker Park when it first opened up.  It was their first opening or something like that and the owner asked me if I wanted to hang some work for the first party they were having, so I put two pieces up.  One I priced for $50 and one I priced for $75 and they were pretty big and both sold.  I was blown away by that but at the same time I realized that for $50 it almost wasnt even worth it.  Like what is $50?  You could spend that in one night on dinner with friends or on drinks.  That changed my mindset on pricing art and on what it should be or could be worth. 

How did your collaboration with street artist, Zore start?

We met at the Chicago Cultural Center at the “Paint, Paste, Sticker” street art show and we were introduced to each other by the curator because we had the same name. it was like, Zore… meet Zor Zor Zor. When we met, I was blown away. I didnt know what to make of it. I didnt expect to meet him that night. I never heard of him before the show though I didnt know what he thought of this whole same name thing. He might want to beat me up (haha) because you’re not supposed to take another persons name in the graffiti world. So then we just wanted to hang out and get to know each other because of the name thing and how weird it was.  Especially since were both from Chicago and were 20 years apart so he has obviously had the name for a lot longer than me and then of course because in the graffiti scene you dont take someone’s name, you just don’t do that.  After hanging out and getting to know each other, he invited me to start working in his studio at Zhou B Art Center because I didnt really have a studio and still dont really have one.  I always work out of my bedroom.  The collaborative process with Mario is cool though.  He works a lot faster than me so hell have pieces just done, done, done and I am just slowly trying to keep up.  We work very well together though and our styles mesh well.  Ive never worked with another artist before so I learn a lot from him, for sure. 

Are you both still tagging around the city?

He doesnt really tag anymore.  I do from time to time but not like I use to.  Ive definitely become more studio based but it all depends.  I feel like I used to do it a lot more because I had a lot of free time where as now I have a lot more deadlines and actual projects and commissions.  The tagging also comes out a lot more when Im already out drinking because now Im usually too tired at night.  Im only 26 but Im tired (laughs). 

How did you first meet Kim and get involved with Elephant Room Gallery?

I first remember being introduced to Elephant Room through my friend Lindsey Newman. She had a show at Elephant Room four years ago or something.  I was walking around downtown one day and remember walking by Elephant Room and it was closed but I remember seeing Lindseys work through the window.  I was so happy for her- never thinking that I would work with Elephant Room and instead just super excited for my friend that had a show downtown because it seemed like such a big deal and there is so much foot traffic there.  Then Kim just came here a year and a half ago, to Zhou B Art Center and asked me if I wanted to have a show.  It was really random and of course I said yes and then had a show!

What do you find influences and inspires your work?

 Ive always been really inspired by love and relationships and how I feel.  My earlier work was always just letting out things that I could never say, for example, to the guy that I liked because Im really shy usually, so I would just weave what I wanted to say into my work.  I am also inspired by music and lyrics, like when I hear lyrics that are saying exactly what I couldnt figure out how to express.  I am also a huge inspiration to my own work.  I normally use myself as the model or figure.

The whole pattern and design work is just kind of random.  Its naturally the way that I draw.  I think it may kind of come from my schooling when I was in Interior Design school because we would just draw shapes and shapes and shapes to try and plan things out so I do see that as a possible influence.  I remember I also always used to like drawing shadows and tracing the shadows on a persons face. Right now, Im really into bunny rabbits.  I grew up with bunny rabbits and my dad still has a bunch of rabbits.  So I guess I just pull from a bunch of different things that I like.

What are your preferred mediums to work in?

Everything.  I really, really want to work more with Plaster of Paris and thats what Ive used for my sculptures.  I also really want to experiment more in general with different materials to sculpt with which I dont even know what that would be yet.  I almost feel like I need to take a class or something so that I can really get to know what I could work with.  For the first time too, Im starting to think about what materials I could use that would last.  But I always use house paint.  Im not really into acrylics or anything.  I just like regular paint because its cheap and its always around.  My dad works construction so there are always paint buckets everywhere around my house.  When I first started taking art more seriously, I didnt have a lot of money so I would use whatever was around me.  Thats why I used to paint on newspaper a lot.  I would literally glue together 20 sheets of newspaper and make my own canvas, which was awesome.  I never thought I would stop doing that, but I havent really done that in a while. 

A lot of the pieces for the Elephant Room show came from different things I found at thrift stores, like this little shadow box.  I originally bought it for the frame but then I realized that someone had written on the back the year that they had created it.  As soon as I realized that I was like Oh wow!  A person made this thing, I dont want to destroy it!.  So I just added to it by scratching on the glass.  It almost has two lives.  Oh and I titled it Caring for Anotherwhich I guess means respecting who originally created it and not wanting to destroy it but instead give it new life.  I hate waste.  I dont want to buy new things, so I would rather use things that I find. 

Whats your opinion on the Chicago art scene in comparison to some of the other cities you have been to as you have chosen to stay in Chicago despite having done some work in Berlin etc. 

I think I stay in Chicago because my familys here.  As far as the Chicago art scene, I dont know.  I feel like its the same everywhere.  There are things that I really like and then there are things that I am just not into at all and its like that anywhere that I go.  I think Chicago has a lot of really great artists but I prefer to stay focused on myself and on what Im doing rather than thinking about what other people are doing. 

What is it like being a woman in the street art scene?

I honestly never really ever thought about it until people started asking me about that.  I always would just tag because I thought it was so fun and didnt really think about it that much. 

And how did you get involved in the art scene in Berlin?

Through Zore.  Zore has a good friend in Berlin and we went to go visit him.  Hes a street artist as well.  He had this little store front space which was a studio and pop up gallery.  We were there two years ago and he asked us if we wanted to have a show and we said yes so we started creating a bunch of work there.  It was a four-person show; me, Zore, Prost and his friend from Indonesia whose art name was Love, Hate, Love.  It was really fun because we created a body of work in four days and then had a pop up show and got to meet people from Berlin and from all over the world really.  Then the next year, since that was pretty much a success we decided to do it again.  It was kind of the same thing where we met up, had a quick pop up show and went home.  Its really cool having a show in a different city because no one really knows who you are which is good and bad- you get a whole new response from strangers but then at the same time, a lot of people dont know who you are.  Its really amazing to touch someone with your art though.  At the last Berlin show that we had, this girl bought a little piece from me and I was going to give it to her for free because she really, really loved it but she insisted on giving me something, so she gave me 20 euros.  How much she loved my work really stuck with me though because of the fact that she was a stranger from a different country and now she owns one of my little pieces and who knows where it will end up after that  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Meditations on a Crisis

Jennifer Cronin is a Chicago based artist who’s practice utilizes psychologically charged and uncanny images. Her latest series continues to laden realistic imagery with hidden potentiality with portraits of foreclosed homes on Chicago’s south side. While the post 2008 foreclosure crisis seems to have slowed and even reversed in certain parts of the city, some areas such as the far west and south sides, still maintain high foreclosure rates. For many residents this crisis still exists. The image of the decaying buildings reflect the wreckage of personal lives disrupted, as well as the degraded social and economic conditions which brought them about. Below is an interview with the artist about the work:

Many of your past works involve encounters with the surreal, how do you see that impacting this new body of work about foreclosed homes? Do you see the homes as encounters with the surreal?

In my past work, I used surreal, somewhat abstract elements to play with the idea of the unknown.  I was always interested in creating a psychological space that was some mixture of wonder and fear.  I enjoyed using the ambiguity of abstraction to draw the viewer in, bringing about a sense of wonder and encouraging people to consider multiple possibilities.  While I don’t see the homes literally as encounters with the surreal, I think I’m interested in creating a similar space of wonder.  One that is filled with untold stories, struggles, accomplishments, and disappointments. 

How did you go about picking the particular buildings that you drew? 

When traveling to areas of Chicago that have been hit the hardest by the foreclosure crisis, it seems like there is sadly no end of boarded up houses in sight.  I came from these trips with many images to choose from, each just as interesting as the last.  I think what I was most drawn to in these images was the details.  The icicle Christmas light that were still left on the porch, the peeling paint, or official documents taped to the front door—each detail told a story, so I was looking for houses with the most interesting details.  I also chose some houses that were surrounded by empty lots, since the empty lots tell just as stark and powerful a tale. 

Did you actually visit the sights? Did you do the drawings plein air?

I did visit the sites, but did not do the drawings en plein air just for practical reasons.  Particularly, the amount of time spent on each piece would make that a difficult feat.  But visiting the sites and photographing these houses was a very poignant and meaningful process for me.  On my first excursion to photograph houses in Englewood, I traveled with the help of JR Fleming, the founder of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign.  This noble, grass-roots organization helps victims of foreclosure in any way possible.  Sometimes they take back and fix up abandoned houses and move homeless families back into them.  Sometimes they stage protests at eviction sites.  They help to rebuild communities and give some power back to the people.  I felt truly humbled and awed by the greatness of JR and his movement, and it really helped me to see the larger picture.

All of these buildings are on the far south side of Chicago, correct? Is this particular location important to you or the work in any way, or do you see it as expressive of something more general?

Most of the drawings in this series are from the south side of Chicago, except for one.  When I began the series, I ventured close to where I was living at the time to Humboldt Park to take my first set of photos.  So, the first drawing in the series was from Humboldt Park.  After that, all of the other houses were from the south side, particularly Englewood and south Back of the Yards.  These neighborhoods, along with several others, have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.  There are some blocks that are nearly empty because of all of the houses that have been torn down.  When people think about the foreclosure crisis and abandoned buildings, many times they think about other cities such as Detroit, and might not necessarily realize the scar left on neighborhoods right here in Chicago.   And I do think that is expressive larger issues relating to race and socioeconomic status.  What does it mean that we live in a society where the people who need help the most are forced out of their homes and onto the streets?  And that those who have taken advantage and trapped many of these people with ballooning mortgages and other deceitful practices are completely unpunished.  These questions are at the heart of these works, along with all of the untold stories and individual lives surrounding these houses. 

"Shuttered" features this new body of work by Jennifer Cronin and will be on exhibition at Elephant Room Gallery located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in Chicago's South Loop November 13th, 2015 through January 2nd, 2016. An opening reception will be on Friday the 13th from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Caristia: Celebrating Family and Arts on Elston

Group Exhibition Review, February 21-22, 2015 
by Emily Alesandrini

Mixed Media
Vanessa Shaf
Caristia was an ancient Roman holiday celebrating the love of family with banqueting, gift-giving, and reconciliation. Honoring ancestors and relatives, party-goers feasted on cake and wine with loved ones. This February, the Connor family exhibited their Caristia, a group exhibition of multi-media artworks by family members and friends in the multi-roomed gallery space, Arts on Elston.

Works on canvas, wood, paper and cement provide an eclectic ambiance—a visual diversity that keeps the viewer engaged room after room.  Artist and gallery owner Arthur Connor commented on this diverse medley of artwork saying, “The hope is to show pictures perhaps people didn’t even know they wanted to see.”  In response, cousin and fellow artist Eileen Madden added, “No one walks in and says, ‘What I like isn’t here.’” Arthur, a painter, sculptor, and furniture craftsman, is joined in the space by Eileen Madden and Vanessa Shaf, whose Paper and Print studio just relocated to the building.     
Wood Assemblage Drawer
Art Connor
The gallery space itself is repurposed from a retired bakery, and comfy seating in nearly every room continues the space’s legacy of warm invitation. Sculptor and Painter Christine Connor remarks how the multiple rooms, “allow for personal intimacy with the works.”  The viewer feels more like a guest in the home of a welcoming collector than a visitor to a public gallery.

Vibrantly colored fish in oil pastel, politically incited mixed media works, industrial metal sculptures, letterpress poetry on delicately handmade paper and luscious nudes in oil on linen adorn the walls and floor space of the gallery rooms.  The range of artistic representation reflects the diversity within this family of artists and friends. The vibrant, cacophonous details of life are the broad themes of Caristia.
Rebecca George
Oil on Linen

Arts on Elston frequently collaborates with Rebecca George, founder/director of the nearby art school and gallery space, The Art House. Up next for The Art House and Arts on Elston is Art By America, a national exhibition of two-dimensional artwork juried by Ginny Voedisch of the Art Instiutue of Chicago Museum and James Yood of Artforum Magazine. Participating artists will receive all sale proceeds. Application deadline: March 20, 2015. APPLY and stay tuned to the exhibitions page at The Art House  to learn more about upcoming opportunities to exhibit and attend art openings at The Art House and Arts on Elston.

Caristia’s artists include: Heather Aitken, Celene Aubrey, Arthur Connor, Christine Connor, Elizabeth Connor, Mae Connor, Karl Fresa, Gordon France, Rebecca George, Eileen Madden, Dan Mullens, Vanessa Shaf. 

Arts on Elston
3446 North Albany Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

Eileen Madden

Untitled and Auger Bit
Christine Connor

Vertebrae Study
Oil on Paper
Elizabeth Connor

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Exposed: Dual Perspectives in Paint and Pixel

The exhibition, Exposed, presents the two diverse perspectives of painter Mary Dorrell and photographer Thomas King as they venture through mountain ranges and foothills across untouched corners of the United States. The juxtaposition of these works provides the viewer with a reassuring reminder of monumental and microscopic natural wonders existing beyond twitter notifications and the concrete jungle. Curated by Rebecca George and exhibited by The Art House, a gallery and classroom for two-dimensional studio art studies, the exhibition’s opening reception included an illuminating lecture by guest art historian, Ginny Voedisch.  Art Institute of Chicago lecturer, Voedisch, discussed replication versus interpretation and concepts of timelessness regarding images of natural entities and wilderness.

Mary Dorrell’s fauvist color palette and lyrical brush strokes convey a contemporary perspective of ancient places. Her works articulate the aesthetics of falling autumn leaves and expansive valleys, but the pieces also evoke an impressionistic conveyance of the feeling of autumn, the feeling of beholding a vista. In painting, color blocks, and watercolors, Dorrell captures birch trees and beaches, bison and tree spirits. Her oil on wood piece, Tree Spirits II, reflects an ineffable, ambiguous spirituality in a Kandinsky-like conversation of color that flows with cadence and complexity.  

Tree Spirits II

In cohesive contrast, Thom King’s majestic black and white photographs on metallic paper shimmer with demanding fortitude. Stark and detailed, vast and intimate, these beautifully composed landscapes document King’s 9,000-mile journey across 15 sites of the American West.  The texture of the metallic paper lends an additional component of authenticity in the shimmer of the photographed water, snow, and sky.  Wild stallions and contemplative bison engender powerful energy into these photographs of Devil’s Tower, the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. These are monumental works for quiet rumination.
The Narrows

Up next for The Art House is Art By America, a national juried exhibition of two-dimensional artwork with awards up to $1,000. Participating artists will receive all sale proceeds. Click HERE to learn more. For additional information on exhibitions and courses offered at The Art House, please click HERE.

Artists Mary Dorrell and Thom King discuss magical places, their creative processes, and visually capturing powerful animals of the archetypal Southwest in the interview below...

A conversation with painter, Mary Dorrell

-You have described exploring wild and magical places of our natural landscape in your painting. Can you expound on this process?

Looking for the wild and magical is about being close to elements of nature and to my own internal spirit. I begin with slowing down enough to become quiet within myself. Allowing an opening into the un-manifested creativity; the resulting inspiration /idea always ties a connection between the meaning and the image. Much of my work has been about capturing the mystical elements inherent in untouched nature.  Once engaged in the process, I suspend the expectation of outcome which allows me to be purely in the moment, evaluating choices, both instinctual and conscious; decisions that maintain the conversation with the work as it progresses to resolution.

-Your highly textured oil on paper piece, Misty Verdues, is one of the most visually compelling works in the exhibition. Can you speak a little on the context of the piece? 

Misty Verdures (Wet Leaves) is a mono-type (oil painting on zinc plate, transferred to paper with a printing press) on being captivated by the randomly unique patterns of fall leaves on a wet ground. Throughout the making of this piece I was continually captivated by the texture and dynamic contrast.
Misty Verdues

-How do memory and elements of heritage affect the aesthetics of your work? Would you say they are the foundation of your painterly instinct? 

Memory and heritage weave the fabric that provides a foundation of who I am as an artist. I am compelled to create and have been since three years old. I like to think that my pioneer ancestors gave me the determination and connection to nature and that my distant Dutch heritage fuels the creativity and drives my instinct to represent the environment as it interacts with collective memory. 

A conversation with photographer, Thom King:

-Does the title of the exhibition, Exposed, allude to some intimate, raw quality of the rugged landscapes you photograph? 

I feel the title Exposed has many meanings for me; my love for photography began long before digital cameras, smart phones and social media. I learned photography on film, processing and printing photos in a darkroom. It was a multi-step process that really made you think about the image you were about to capture, from the composition of the image to the final print. For Exposed I wanted to return to the roots of landscape photography and the photographers whom I admire. Like in the days before digital cameras and Photoshop I tried to create the final image as much as possible with the proper exposure and composition in camera with minimal post processing in Photoshop. I thought of the process much more for this series than in much of my previous work. 
General Sherman Sequoia

-Can you describe your energy when photographing stallions and bison, powerful animals of the archetypal Southwest? 

The Bison are truly a majestic and impressive animal; they roam Yellowstone National Park and are often seen walking down roads creating traffic back-ups. (Oddly enough, they always seem to walk the roads in the correct direction with the traffic). Being within a few feet of a bison you get the sense of just how powerful they are, seemingly unaware or not caring that we are there. The real gem for me was seeing the wild horses, traveling a 14 mile unpaved road in southwest Wyoming I thought I would reach the end of the road before seeing any wild horses. Then in the distance I spotted them, a group of about 8-10 adults and one colt. I quickly began photographing them as we slowly moved closer. Much to my surprise they did not run away and only moved a little from the road as we approached. The true joy was getting out of the car and walking to within 75 feet of them, I felt like that was close enough for me (after all they are large and wild) and they seemed Ok with my proximity. After I felt like I had enough images I put down the camera and just watched, taking in the scene with all of my senses until they slowly moved away.

Read more on Mary Dorrell and her painting HERE.
Read more on Thom King and his photographs HERE

Photos courtesy of Thom King. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Donald Glover's Sober: Pinnochio's Perspective

Donald Glover, known more widely by his stage name Childish Gambino, recently released a music video for the single “Sober,” on his Kauai EP and I am ecstatic. Glover, who is also a former writer and actor for the NBC comedy Community, flexes his creative liberties in the simple yet compelling visual. What's resulted is an off-putting display of boy meets girl with an eerie and thought provoking question posed to the audience and artists alike.
I had a very personal connection to the piece initially but it wasn’t apparent to me why it had affected me so deeply. After describing the piece to my colleague however, the subconscious perspective poured out organically without much effort of my own.
In the very beginning, while the setting is being revealed to us in a slow pan you may notice that we’re back in a diner just as we had been in Gambino’s Sweatpants video back in 2014. Although, the two diners are of vastly different interiors with the Sweatpants diner being furnished with nice leather booth seats and classic countertop tables, the restaurant in Sober is simple, barren.  The leather booth style seats have been traded for plastic chairs and tables placed merely for formality's sake since this isn't a place for dining in. This specific change in setting indicates to me, a sort of breakdown or shift in direction, which may reflect the artist's state of mind at the times of production. 
The direction of this particular work is set as soon as our two protagonists, Gambino and the young woman, come into frame. We watch him arise from his seat across the diner to garner her attention any way he can. Gambino mimes the lyrics, using his hands to depict the bounce in the melody, as this very entertaining micro-drama ensues. He dances for her, awkwardly yet effortlessly. It’s as if his joints are attached to invisible strings that tug at their own will. Here he is: a puppet for a woman he doesn’t know and doesn’t seem to notice is completely uninterested in his attempts to entertain her.
Does this dynamic not sound familiar?
Don’t most artists who are seeking “success” drive themselves to entertaining a world of uninterested bodies who believe wholeheartedly that it is our purpose to entertain them? 
Don’t most artists believe they wholeheartedly want to entertain (even if they aren’t entertainers)?
After dancing, singing, and attempting something similar to magic tricks, Gambino is finally able to get a rise out of the object of his affection. She’s acknowledged his existence by smiling and stepping to his beat for just a short moment validating his creativity, before simply walking out of his space entirely. This short lived relationship exhibits some parallels to the relationship between the creator and his audience. Once you’ve had your 15 mins of fame (or 15 seconds now thanks to Instagram) the audience you've worked for disappears as if they had never been there at all, robbing you of the fulfillment you were seeking all along. An artist’s relevance could plummet at any moment that someone new enters the scene; but what are we to do?
What’s interesting to me is that Gambino handles this by placing himself back in the position from which he can always repeat this process. At the end of the piece, he returns to his original seat and slumps back into the skewed posture that he had sprung from; a stance that many of us are currently molded into, ourselves. 
How does one cope with impending career death? What if your career is the one thing that you love most? What boundaries do you think you could cross if your dream was at stake?
Perhaps Childish Gambino has figured it out. Maybe the secret is to continuously make yourself available to the world: sitting slumped in the same place where you found your audience originally. It may be abandoned most days but at some point some pretty young lady has to walk in and lend you the eyes you had so patiently waited for all along.