Deadly Prey Gallery
Like stiff painted-linen magic carpets, stacks of dozens of hand-painted African movie posters, mostly from Ghana, are scattered on tables and brandished on the walls of an exposed-brick storefront space in Noble Square. Deadly Prey Gallery is a labor of love by Brian Chankin, owner of Odd Obsession Movies and his sister Heidi Anne Chankin. Originally artifacts of 1990s’ “Ghanaian Mobile Cinema,” created to promote entrepreneur’s VHS screenings, the posters, often painted onto two flour sacks, grew more audacious as competition increased. Some are ghoulish and gruesome, with special glee applied to horror and science fiction. The use of color and nightmarish imagery is almost universal. Some examples are eye-poppingly alien: Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny in “Space Jam,” their forms strangely configured, and Bugs with a gun? Seldom does it seem like the painters have seen the film, and often the work seems like a conflation of rumors about movies that never existed. Chankin’s passion for the work of artists like Mr. Brew, Leonardo, Salvation, Stoger, Death is Wonder and Heavy J led to commissioned work, which overran the walls of Odd Obsession and now are ready to grace walls across Chicago, or at the very least, some very strange dreams after a tour of the latest themed display on the wall. For a taste of the gaudy glory of the rude, strange and often bloody imagery, eighty reproductions grace the front page of the gallery website.
1433 W. Chicago, 312.659.1991, deadlypreygallery.com
Best of Chicago 2015