Roadside Art Online
The Western Avenue And Vicinity Gallery

Western Avenue is said to be Chicago's longest street, stretching from the northern boundary with Evanston
to Crete-Monee Road far south of the city. Along the way you can find an ever-changing outdoor gallery of vernacular art.

Click a picture to see a larger view.


First Lady was on Western near 63rd Street. The portrait and hairdryer are anything but generic, and the red swash supplies a dynamism as great as the Coca Cola swash over which it was painted. Phases is at 79th Street, across from It's Hair.

We've Got The Look is on south Western.Leolar's was near 63rd Street.The twin portraits have a surrealistic feel to them far different from the usual salon kitsch. Salon Complete north of Devon sported a quite contrasting folk realism.

The Sexty Sex Lounge at 66th Street recently added a hanging sign quite out of character with its old understated Moderne look, but appealing in its own right. At 69th Street things have changed over the years, but the wall art has upheld the highest standards, whether the mural is for a nightclub or a record store.

The mattresses were in the 50s, the knives and the Lopez Hardward lightbulb guy at Blue Island Avenue, the tacos at 24th Street, Fat Johnnies at 72nd Street and the Candlelight south of Devon.

The two ultra-detailed engines are among the best automotive paintings I've ever seen, on the road or off. They are from two different locations, but probably the same hand, south of the Eisenhower Expressway. Dynasty was at 43rd Street. "Z" Frank's impressive neon is at Peterson.

The Economy Auto Mart, between Belmont and Addison, represented a fine example of adaptive reuse, the sign and the building both. Big Boy Car Wash was briefly near Belmont, while the happy hubcap is a highlight at 24th Street.

There have been a number of auto shops on Western that constitute virtual art environments. Each of these requires a clickthrough to get the full experience. Regency Auto Sales at 74th Street had one of the greatest concentrations of outdoor art in the city with its carnival-like placards. Tom's Auto Mart, a few doors down, tried to hold its own with a Mickey Mouse theme. D&A, at 46th Street, was an explosion of style, now all painted over. At Tenorio Tire Shop near 35th Street the signs are aggregated into a sculptural assemblage.

A ranter who signed himself 77x7 posted numerous tirades at Archer Avenue, as well as at locations up and down the city. This is another one that requires a clickthrough.

Back to the Western Avenue Gallery

Gyros | Environments | Signs | Junk | Ruins | Vistas |
Grog N Groc | Western Avenue Gallery | Matchbooks | Motels

The Latest Stuff | Roadside art | Outsider pages | The idea barn | About | Home


Copyright Interesting Ideas 2006