Around his solo show Black Drawls at UIC's Gallery 400 last November, Chicago artist David Leggett spoke to i-D Magazine about his work, living and making art in Chicago, and the power of humor in even the most heavy of subjects. David is a former recipient of Chicago Artists Coalition's Maker Grant runner-up award, and has an upcoming exhibition at Shane Campbell Gallery.
Read the full interview at i-D, excerpted below:
i-D: What's Chicago like for an artist?
DL: It's a great city to be an artist. It's affordable to live and work and you have many interesting down to earth artists that live here. Chicago doesn't care about trends that go on in New York or Los Angeles. People here are fiercely independent. It is also grey like seven months out of the year here. Being in the studio seems natural due to that.
i-D: Do you feel a part of "the art world" in Chicago?
DL: I don't really think about it. Being obsessed with the market and how things are swaying but it just doesn't interest me. I would still be making art without the "art world".
i-D: Can you remember what made you want to be an artist?
DL: I'm terrible at just about everything else in life. I have a very short attention span. I get bored easily. Making art makes feel good and when I can't make art for a while I get depressed.
Maker Grant applications are now open, with a deadline of March 31. MAKER grants recognize that Chicago is home to a unique and thriving ecology of engaged and socially-conscious makers, who often work outside of traditional forms or without commercial support. MAKER grants, therefore, endeavor to honor these artists whose work actively engages with social issues—with an eye towards using the strategies, beauty, and meaning of art-making for positive change.
MAKER Grant Program’s unrestricted $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000 annual grants are intended to recognize exceptional emerging artists working in Chicago, and support the advancement of their artistic careers. The program, founded in 2013, serves the Chicago Artists Coalition’s mission of supporting local artists’ practices and professional development.
Feature - David Leggett: Black cat nine lives short days long nights livin' on the edge not afraid to die. Heart beat real strong but not for long better watch your step or you're going to die. 2016.
Inset - David Leggett: Nothing but net. 2016