Elephant Room Gallery presents “Endless Struggle”, a solo exhibition by artist Keelan McMorrow. The exhibition opens on October 14th with a reception from 6 to 9pm and ends on November 26th. Elephant Room Gallery is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop Neighborhood of Chicago.
“Endless Struggle” marks the artist’s 3rd solo exhibition with the gallery. Keelan McMorrow paints like a classically-trained artist weaned on outlaw poetry and pre-millennial punk rock… Exquisitely rendered bodily forms exist alongside corroded iron tools and archaic weaponry, symbolic and literal extensions of human labor, cost, defiance, and toil. Each piece yearns to speak of stories and truths intensely personal to the artist, but an enigmatic surrealism encourages the unique perspectives of individual viewers. “Endless Struggle” is a reflection on themes universal to the human condition, and deeply relevant to our current times.
“Without struggle, we could never evolve; we could not triumph, nor hope to overcome. Because of this, my paintings are depictions of hope. Death doesn’t frighten me when it’s rendered into symbol – it’s memento mori, a reminder to carry on. Human limbs and torsos, trapped in the stasis of hyper-realism and trompe-l’œil, are postmodern hieroglyphs, faceless entities and heroes and gods. These portrayals share stories, but also secrets – some pint-sized hopes and bottled-up tears – the stained glass parables to the church within my mind. I don’t expect every picture I paint to be relatable, let alone translatable, to every viewer of my work – there are mysteries in art that should remain elusive even to the hand that depicts them. Not every struggle is universal, but the struggle itself is – and that’s the whole point.” – McMorrow
About the Artist
Keelan McMorrow is an internationally collected visual artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Raised up in the Midwestern punk scene of the 1990s and early-2000s, Keelan inherited the steadfast work ethic and guiding principles of the DIY underground. What began as an outlet for youthful rebellion and creative expression soon blossomed into more focused narratives; eschewing the exorbitant costs and pedagogy of traditional art schools, Keelan redoubled his efforts at developing his artistic skillset outside honest work in factories, warehouses, and pizza delivery joints. As commissioned portraits made way for larger projects for companies like ComEd, Red Bull, and Tequila Herradura, McMorrow’s work has been shown extensively in galleries and museums across Chicago and the United States, and in published features in many magazines, books, and art journals.