Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, December 2

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Celebrity Autobiography Richard Hull's Pretty New Blobs »

Art Thu Mar 25 2010

Fresh Meat

charliebanner.jpgMeet Charlie Megna. He is one of the multitudes of artists who have studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building in Wicker Park, but he's one of the scarce few who are always there. He got his BFA at Lewis University, and now he spends his days at work at Genesis Art Supply and his nights painting like a madman.

Right now he's preoccupied with painting bricks. Not the mortar, as most of us would draw, but the bricks themselves. This way, he has to randomly pick and choose which bricks should go where-- an activity he described as cathartic as he painted them, and I watched, in his studio yesterday. He likes making the rapid, random decisions of placement. "They represent choices," he said to me.


a new painting of Megna's, not yet titled

In addition to bricks themselves, his work reflects an interest in architectural structure in general. He traces the periphery of buildings, vans, shacks and gas pumps in veins of black acrylic, daintily dragged across the canvas to create plasticky three dimensional drawings that he urges his viewers to touch. His style reflects an innovative curiosity in the viscosity of paint and its ability to be manipulated for various uses. The paint is applied in spatters, washes, strings, dots and prints-- always with an intense amount of concentration and no shortage of general fiddling around.

Megna's artistic influences are deeply drudged in street-art and skate-art culture. A die-hard skater himself, Megna is sponsored by RVCA and seems to regard many of the other RVCA artists-- like Ed Templeton and Kelsey Brookes-- as mentors whom he simply hasn't yet met. Instead of imitating the West Coast aesthetic of the RVCA artists, though, his work is distinctly Midwestern, both in quality of light and line-- even his popular tie-dyed "Fuck Indiana" t-shirt.


On first Fridays, stop by his studio, Nighthouse Gallery, which he shares with Katie Arford, Liana Feletto, and Erin Hauer in the Flat Iron Arts building (1579 N. Milwaukee). He just painted the walls and is in the process of turning the studio into a proper gallery, with curated shows. The first one will be a cat-themed show called Pussy Galore in June-- look out for that.

In the meantime check out his paintings online or at Untitled and People Lounge, where they will remain up into the foreseeable future.


Megna's studio pre-makover, photo courtesy of the artist

GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15