Opening First Friday: Joe Wallace’s “The Studio Lab” in #220!


The work of an artist doesn’t always reflect their private lives, but mine does, whether directly as a sort of confessional/first person storytelling mode, or more indirectly when I take and manipulate photographs, draw, or paint from my subconscious.

For better or worse, there is no layer of removal or professional distance from me and my work. It is all personal in ways that become incredibly uncomfortable at times. That’s important as a preface.

I spent a good chunk of my life–14 years–in the United States Air Force as a military reporter and videographer. I’ve interviewed people and shot video in flood zones, after airplane crashes, house fires,  and many other unusual circumstances.

My reporting work and military service has led me all over the globe; Iceland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Honduras, Germany, and many other places.

All of those experiences, from the mundane to the intense, inform my work. That’s especially true when it comes to important issues connected with military service. Issues that include service-related causes of depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how these mental health issues affect people returning to civilian life after military service has ended.

I have had traumatic experiences in the course of my military career. I’ve never seen combat. I know the effects of combat on my fellow service members, including the scars that no one can see after coming home. While my work is not exclusively about PTSD or depression, the shadow of my military experiences falls over all the work that I do.

The purpose of my work includes promoting the idea that a person is not exclusively haunted or gratified by the past, but that pain and gratification are intertwined in ways that we don’t always recognize or even understand.

My artwork often involves scenes or glimpses of events that are not fully explained–like discovering a set of incriminating old photographs that seem to reveal something wrong or unusual.

What you see in these freeze-frames comes usually comes from my subconscious. Sometimes at random, sometimes not.

Are these vacation photos of the damned? A collection of confessional Rorschach blots? Channel surfing through a collection of joyous, painful, erotic, and haunted memories?

To me they seem more like the accidental voyeurism you experience seeing open apartment windows flashing by as you look out the window of the train.

Joe Wallace

Contact me at for collaboration, commissions, or other proposals.

Opening First Friday: Vincent Romano!


“Our individual experiences, adventures, scenarios we’ve witnessed in our past, can give us a unique vision of the scene before us. This helps me capture similarities and differences among the vast amount of varying experiences I have . I also find taking things to their limits and see what works and more importantly what doesn’t, is something that has help guide me.

I don’t have a set style…I shoot what life gives me, take it to it’s limits and see what I can make of it. If pegged to a style, I think I would find myself shooting for that particular style, instead of interacting with what is given to me and working with the vibe and energy of the subject(s) and the experience.”


Friday Night Wall presents Spencer Hutchinson


Friday Night Wall is back this October. Spencer Hutchinson returns to the wall with a piece called ‘Land Bridge’. When the slave trade was active, tribes people, such as the Dogon, would attempt to escape by taking makeshift ladders with them. The title ‘Land Bridge’ suggests the idea of a permeable border between Africa and the USA. The installation which is comprised of ladders of varying sizes, shapes, and vintages, suggests the past futility of pan-Africanism in pre and post-Integration America.


6-10pm on the Second Floor. Check us out at:

Opening Tomorrow Night: Kurt Kramer’s New Work!


Who: Photographer Kurt Kramer has made photographs with artistic intent for more than 47 years. For the last 7 years he has shown his work in the Flat Iron Building. In June 2014 he moved down from the 3rd floor into studio 227. His gallery there is one of the most professional-looking and beautiful spaces in the building.

A resident of the Bucktown/Wicker Park area, Kurt can often be seen taking pictures right here in the six-corners area. And many of those local photographs are on exhibit in his gallery. But what photographer doesn’t like to travel? Since 2008, he’s participated in photo-workshops in Scotland, Havana, and just earlier this summer on the Adriatic Coast, visiting the former-Yugoslavia countries of Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro.

What: For our October 2nd First Friday Kurt will be featuring his photography from the Adriatic Coast, and maybe a few from a recent weekend in Quebec City. Expect to see scenes of natural beauty, ancient structures, and some of the people-punctuated scenes in the built environment, not unlike those he’s been capturing here in Chicago recently.

Where: Studio 227 is back in the corner of the building, reached by taking several left turns through the Flat Iron’s infamous maze-like hallways. But keep looking until you find him. It will be worth the search.