Primary Projects Covers a Chicago Shopping Center in Public Art
When Books IIII Bischof and company launched Primary Flight back in 2007, and invited 35 artists to paint street murals across a blighted Wynwood, he had no idea his plan would become a cultural phenomenon and turn the run-down district into an open air museum.
Clayton Hauck Jen Stark's escalator installation.
Back then Bischof's vision not only provided an alternative space for artistic experimentation, but also brought the artists and the community closer together in a way that captured the ever-changing urbanity and dynamism of the Magic City. As the years passed, and Wynwood's street mural scene exploded on the international stage due to the presence of Art Basel, Bischof and the hundreds of artists that signed on to his project exuded an abundance of energy and enthusiasm for unique public art ventures that would spawn Primary Projects, a full time exhibition space in 2010.
Now, the homegrown gallery Bischof founded together with Typoe and Cristina Gonzalez has joined The Arts Initiative to curate 11 site-specific installations at the new Fashion Outlets of Chicago, expanding Primary's brand beyond the tropics.
Bischof and his Primary colleagues recently returned from the Windy City, where they presented a lineup of nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists, most of them originally from Miami or with strong ties to our city. Together, they transformed the $250 million dollar Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall into a sprawling romper room for creativity.
During the mall's inaugural, which drew upwards of 200,000 visitors, artists including Bert Rodriguez, Jim Drain, Kenton Parker, Jen Stark, Andrew Nigon, Friends With You, Daniel Arsham, and Alvaro Ilizarbe wowed the crowds with an eye-popping collection of sweeping installations and sculptures suspended from atriums, situated behind escalators, and tucked in between name brand stores.
"It was the most amazing experience I've ever had during all these years of presenting work on the streets or public projects," Bischof says, adding that the concept was a year in the making.