by Legendary Lew
This past Friday night marked a milestone in Chicago cultural history. It was the final night some very lucky art lovers were able to attend a gallery showing of master works in the artist’s original setting. For the last two weeks, Brad and Scott Meinecke along with their crew of assistants entertained art buyers, visitors, gallery owners and others with the stories behind many of their dad’s art pieces.
But this evening was special, it was a farewell of sorts as some of the works of art had found new homes (over 50 pieces sold during the two weeks). Some friends of The Underground Multiplex stopped by as did some Meinecke family friends and associates.
Among those visiting was Gene, one of Tristan Meinecke’s proteges and his favorite one. She, in fact, helped Tristan create the found art piece commonly known as “The Image” out of a discarded tractor cover. Her recollections of Tristan and Angel Casey made for wonderful listening and put the evening into quite the perspective for me.
“Tristan was not crazy,” the spry 91-year old artist insisted, pointing a finger in a manner indicating she’s heard that accusation too many times before. “He had a mental illness.”
And indeed, Tristan Meinecke was not crazy. He was an irrepressible force of nature with a ferocious energy. You could see it in his work, displayed all at once in his West Rogers Park cottage studio that will now be the stuff of art history.
The madness, the outrage, the playfulness–it was all there for the world to see for two short weeks. Works hidden–in some cases over a half-century–from a previously uncaring and inattentive public.
We were the crazy ones.
Be on the lookout for The Underground Multiplex TV show coming to CAN-TV! We’ll announce the show’s debut here on TUGM, so join us and check back often!