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HELLO NEIGHBOR - Gods of the Plague

title: Gods of the Plague

artist: Darin Latimer

materials: cardboard, acrylic paint, krink ink, watercolor pencil

dimensions: approx.10-14 feet wide, 4-5 feet high

location: Elephant Room Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, US

Gods of the Plague is a painted set of cardboard box sculptures, that resemble both individual figures and a cityscape, all executed since the City of Chicago’s ‘Stay at Home’ order was enacted during the current Covid-19 crisis. 

The last day my wife and I went out before the virus crisis truly came down, we were privileged to visit a collector’s private home and there I saw an early iteration of Hebru Brantley’s iconic character ‘Flyboy’ painted on a cardboard box. 

Taking away that inspiration and not yet knowing the full situation to come, I found myself, a couple weeks later, with a pile of panic-buying, pantry-filling delivery boxes and I started painting them both as a lark and with a bit of a material shortage. 

"Then I started thinking about it, with some personal experience (let’s just say I have toiled), and realizing what it took for these boxes to get to me – in this new, dangerous context, their initial distribution, the necessary direct re-packaging, that subsequent delivery, the handling of the boxes upon arrival, the privileged conceit of letting them sit for 24 hours before I picked them up (as per instructions). I started thinking of them seriously as a work of art. I hope they are both exuberant and appropriately awful. I’ve stopped receiving deliveries. I’ll just figure it out."

Darin Latimer is a self-taught artist. Latimer has been making art his entire life but only recently began to exhibit work. His primary mediums are Krink Ink (developed by the street artist Craig Costello or ‘KR-1’) and plush sculpture fabricated by ‘Budsies’, a website intended to turn children’s doodles into 3-dimensional plush animals. Follow him on Instagram: @the_wabashian

More on Darin Latimer's practice

I have little formal training. The crux of my work is usually discovering then developing methodology by trying materials and learning the way they work together. Or don’t work together. It took me 30 years to learn, from my constant drawing practice to make paintings in 30 minutes…but I’ve noticed it’s taking longer again.

About Elephant Room Gallery

Elephant Room Gallery opened up in November of 2009 with a mission to focus on Chicago-based new and emerging artists. The storefront gallery works with local artists who are at various stages in their careers while continuing to exhibit brand new artists. The gallery is interested in fostering a community of artists, collectors and visitors through an intimate gallery experience.

We believe that art should be accessible to all. We offer payment plans to fit your budget at no extra cost to you and we will store the artwork until you are ready to take it home. All current exhibition artwork is available for purchase as well as select works on our Artists pages and our Shop.

Elephant Room Gallery is located at 704 S. Wabash Ave in Chicago's South Loop. For more information contact Follow Elephant Room Gallery on Instagram: @elephantroomgallery

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