Post Hope, 2013. Installation view. Courtesy of the gallery.


Oh Chicago, how I wish I was there to see this exhibition in person, but due to pockets with eternal holes at the bottom I find myself surfing the net for my art fix with my fellow enthusiasts around the globe with no frequent flyer miles.  But it does not excuse my desire to highlight this exhibition at one of my favorite spaces, LVL3.  If you don’t know about this space, you should become familiar, like a resurfaced family member of the massive dysfunctional art world we all chose to be a part of.  One big happy family right?



Leslie Baum, "Particular Histories", 2012. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the gallery.

Brian Kokoska, Installation view. Courtesy of the gallery.


LVL3 has been hosting interesting exhibitions since early 2012.  The past exhibition “Infinite Jamz” was a success in my mind, featuring works by  Biff Bolen, Patrick Costello, Mac Katter, and Bay Area artist Chris Duncan. (Sorry 49er’s… maybe next year) Check out for images of the show.  The group show was comprised of artists from the 2012 Summer ACRE Residency, a program that artists should look into if your seeking opportunities elsewhere from the cities you find yourself shackled to.


Currently on view at LVL3 is “Post Hope”  which sums up pretty much my outlook on life at the moment, but that’s aside from the point.  The show is a two person show exhibiting Leslie Baum and Brian Kokoska.  The statement writes, “Post Hope addresses the mash up of these artists’ approaches to still life interpretations and care towards distorted perceptions of space.”  I don’t feel as if this exhibition is a mash up, but more of an accompaniment between the products of two individuals.  “Approaches to still life,” yes, but knowing that life is never still and moves forward without anyones consent, especially in today’s super fucking fast turnover and accumulation of information conducted by the digital age.  With Kokoska’s figurative subjects that I find hilarious, and genuine, with Baum’s truthful use of gesture and connection with texture and color, creates a dialogue between the two that seem to dovetail one another when shown within the gallery.  It is as if one piece is finishing the conversation of another, and vice versa, kind of like the annoying perfect couple sitting next to you at dinner, and you are so upset that your stuck next to them because deep down in your heart you wish to be like them in a way.  If you’re in Chicago, check out the exhibition in person, and if you’re not check out the link below for 48 images of greatness.  Thank you LVL3, thank you Kokoska, and thank you Baum.



Brian Kokoska, "Money Girl", 2013. Clay, paint, kanekalon, ponytail balls. 21"x10"x6". Courtesy of the gallery

Leslie Baum, "Particular Histories", 2012. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the gallery.


Contributed by Gregory Ito