Debatably authentic da Vincis notwithstanding, buying art for your home doesn’t have to break the bank.
In fact, we prefer a mix of high and low.
We also prefer supporting local artists — a house is not a home without its roots, after all.
Which is why we made a handy cheat sheet to our seven favorite Chicago printmakers.
From abstract watercolors to hot-dog-stand memorials, we guarantee you’ll find something you like.
Drug Factory Press
For more than a decade under the moniker Drug Factory Press, Ryan Duggan has crafted prints that blend blue-collar humor with '60s Americana aesthetic. Hot dog aficionados will love his classic Gene & Jude's print.
Composed of married artists Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher, Sonnenzimmer's Roscoe Village studio resides in a dimension of mellow avant-garde. And others have noticed, as witnessed by Sonnenzimmer's exhibitions of their “finely applied graphics” at The Arts Club of Chicago, the Cress Gallery at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and several others.
From one of the city's leading graphic design studios comes minimalist, abstract original watercolors that are sure to turn heads. Each poster is printed on heavyweight matte museum-quality archival paper.
The Chicago Neighborhoods
For anyone who enjoys arguing about the “real” neighborhood boundaries or whether Buena Park actually constitutes one, these Chicago Neighborhoods prints are a must-have. Inspired by vintage WPA posters, new neighborhood designs are released every few months.
Labeled by some as Chicago's answer to Banksy, Don't Fret has a distinctly weird style and isn't afraid to wield some humor. Case in point: this “Art World/Real World” Venn diagram is good for a few chuckles, and “Surprise Art” might be really cool, but, quite frankly, we're not sure.
Great Ideas from the Chicago Design Museum
Comissioned by the Chicago Design Museum, this series — called Great Ideas of Humanity — has been exhibited in Chicago and Hong Kong, and perhaps more notably locally, on the Bus Rapid Transit ad stands across The Loop.
Danny Sobor's work is all about contrast. Soft pastels are offset by the dark lines that form statuesque faces. In his illustrations, nature and urban life tango in lockstep. In his Chicago Neighborhood series, local buildings are adorned with tribal patterns, rising from the ground like modern ziggurats.