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While 2017 promises a year filled with creativity and artistic surprises, Chicago’s Pizza In The Rain (aka PITR) has recently wrapped up a unique undertaking that has spanned most of 2016.

As artists take their work to the street all over the world, the “Paper Portraits” project strived to encourage this street focused transition in Chicago. Curated by PITR/Pizza in the Rain, “Paper Portraits” was a ten-month long informal, public group show.

PITR and Danny Sobor

“Paper Portraits” showcased one large-scale piece from 10 local/international artists/collectives in addition to one piece from PITR. International contributors included Expanded Eye, Ella & Pitr & Collin Van Der Sluijs. Working off the same photograph,  the contributing artist(s) painted separate interpretations of the same photo on a paper canvas. This process illustrated each contributors unique style, while creating two pieces that are cohesive and work off one another.

The photos used for this project are old portraits shot by PITR’s mother, a freelance photographer who shot primarily in black and white for 35 years.

All work was to be be gray-scale (black/white/gray). Each portrait then done on paper, then wheatpasted on the street. Artists each had two weeks to complete their portrait piece, at which time they were to help installing/putting it up. At the beginning of each month (April 2016 thru January 1, 2017) PITR and the participating artist would install and showcase their works. All of the installations were unsanctioned, without permission of any of the current property owners.

“Paper Projects” had no monetary/financial goal. The goal was to share the work of artists PITR respects/enjoys, introduce them to one another, keep a focus on public art and share the stories/images captured in his mother’s photographs.

For more information on the “Paper Portraits” works featured on walls throughout Chicago, visit @pizzaintherain on Instagram.

Josh Reich

About Josh Reich

My introduction to art & street art was mostly through album artwork. I was drawn to Futura 2000 (via UNKLE), Steve "Espo" Powers (Tommy Guerro), Paul Insect (DJ Shadow), and Bansky (Blur) before I even knew what street art was. Spray paint is banned in my home town of Chicago, so the internet became my portal to the world as I leaned about amazing artists creating on walls all around the globe. My day job is in music, but I continue to have a strong passion and respect for artists of all mediums.