Death on Wheels (Exit 00)

‘Death on Wheels (Exit 00)’ by Darin Latimer Include 3 Pop Up Art Activations From Chicago to Michigan This Summer

Elephant Room Gallery is excited to present a 3 part exhibition with artist Darin Latimer this summer entitled “Death on Wheels (Exit 00)”. The exhibitions will start off with a pop up at 3203 S Halsted St. in Chicago from July 14th through July 30th. The opening reception will be on Friday, July 14th from 6 to 9pm. Following that, a one night only activation will take place on August 19th from 8 to 10pm at Jim’s Butcher Shop located at 28418 Telegraph Rd. in Flat Rock, Michigan. The evening will consist of a unique display of Darin’s work in conjunction with an artist talk. Works will then be installed at an undisclosed location in Flat Rock from August 20th to September 3rd, which will be open by appointment only through the artist or the gallery. More information can be found on the gallery’s website:

Artists often create very personal works and all of Darin’s work lately have been about his harrowing battle with his health. A self taught artist, Darin has been drawing since he was a young child. His mediums of choice are krink ink and acrylic. Last year, Darin started the practice of blot drawing, where he would create smaller works on paper and blot them onto the surface of the painting. In his most recent evolution, he discovered digital art as a way to begin a study for a painting for very practical reasons. This 3 part exhibition begins with a pop up solo exhibition in Chicago, where the artist is currently based, then travels to his parent’s butcher shop where he grew up, and ends in a secret location in Flat Rock where works can be viewed by appointment only. These exhibitions connect Darin’s current home (Chicago) to that of his youth (Detroit area) to culminate into a trio of activations that close a profound chapter of his life.

“I got Very Sick and Nearly Died. Let’s not Bury the Lead. And then I made 200 paintings and 2000 drawings and all of it, one way or another, came out of my phone. ‘Death on Wheels (Exit 00)’ is the conclusion of my ‘Death’ Trilogy of exhibitions. It is the Conclusion because I did not die.

I was diagnosed with Multiple-Myeloma just ahead of the first. I entered full systemic treatment just after the second. Facing a pragmatically deployed system of treatment that would temporarily disable me, I made a pragmatic decision. I would have to draw laying down. For me, it’s all from drawings. My sketchbooks would not work lying on my side and I would not very often be standing or sitting up. And Expedience became Liberation. I wasn’t seeking a New Methodology, but I got one.

I had two primary activities during the 3 Phases of my complete systemic treatment. I drew on my phone and I reread Hillary Spurling’s two volume biography of Henri Matisse. Deploying the cheapest, free digital painting app, with only a brief tentative orientation while I figured out how it worked; something happened to me.  I was not expecting a burst of productivity during Stem Cell Transplant. I wasn’t expecting to produce dozens of paintings in the shaky, stumbling intermission between Phase 2 and Phase 3. I didn’t expect it to continue through and after Phase 3. But it did. Look at this Tangle of Thorns. 

When I tired of drawing, I would turn to Matisse’s life or stare into his paintings. These two things converged.  The Gifts I got, out of my phone are as follows; Speed, Color, Collage and Crudity. To Speed; I already thought I worked fast. I was wrong. To Color; The Phone let me do it, on the fly, correcting on the fly and amplifying it in ways not previously available. This informed the Paintings. To Collage; When I had made about 1200 digital drawings, I began collaging various images into each other and then reworking them again. These returned as paintings. To Crudity; The faster I went the faster I wanted to go. I embraced the simplicity and rawness. 

My Schtick has always been; I Make Pictures About Pictures. These are not pictures about Death, just informed by its Recognition. Please take a look.” – Darin

About the Artist

Darin Latimer was born in Detroit, MI and has long been obsessed with the city. He started drawing as a very small child, long before he talked, according to his mother, and he never stopped. Drawing was often the antidote to boredom or obligations. He used to skip school, returning to the city to spend whole days spelunking, book-hunting, salvage-picking, concert and club-going, but mostly just driving around with a camera. The photos were often details of architectural and natural distress patterns, jumbled topographies of sheared off brick from an adjacent demolition, fire scars on the sides of semi-collapsed buildings, scrub trees so choked with snagged plastic trash they appeared to be breathing in the wind. These images informed a drawing practice that grew out of manic and compulsive adolescent doodling, joined a growing immersion in the history of art and film and lead to his own unique visual lexicon; or, more succinctly as Latimer states, “I started making my own Distress.”The resulting images, whether Paintings, Collage, Pandemic-Inspired cardboard sculptures,  and more recently, digital drawings, almost entirely resolve into pictures of faces or figures, sometimes compressed in multitudes (or cityscapes), but almost never complete abstraction.