Thursday, September 4, 2014

James Deeb: Breaking Criminal Traditions at The Art Center-Highland Park

James Deeb, "Silent Witnesses" Monotype, 30"x22" 

Save the Date: Friday, November 7th

Opening November 7th at The Art Center of Highland Park is, The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions. This fine art exhibition, features the work of fifteen artists from around the country, calling attention to the ongoing ancient rituals that kill or maim millions each year—yet are not considered crimes. The exhibition utilizes the beauty of high-quality fine art to raise awareness of human rights issues and—in doing so—begin a dialogue that may encourage change.

This provocative yet engaging exhibition debuted in 2013 at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, putting the shadowy topics of honor killing, child marriage, acid violence—among others—directly in front of current and future law makers. Since the show debuted, new art pieces have been added. The show has evolved into the unique presentation designed specifically for The Art Center of Highland Park.

The pieces selected for this exhibition are intriguing—with many levels of interpretation… Conscious of the human rights issues outlined by Executive Producer, Cheryl Jefferson, I selected beautifully intriguing works of art that contain multiple levels of meaning. Each piece was chosen to allude to the issues at hand… the meaning ultimately defined by the interpretation of the viewer. For example, "Silent Witnesses" by James Deeb, is a 30x22” Monotype, that was developed from Deeb’s interest in medical and dental x-rays. I found it appropriate for inclusion due to the implied content; the use of figurative abstraction with an emphasis on the bones of the mouth—a graphic image that alludes to the silencing of the repressed. Deeb explains...
 “… After I finished it [Silent Witnesses] and the other pieces in the series, I realized that they were less about human interaction with medical technology and more about taboo subjects often left unspoken. This fits particularly well with the theme of Breaking Criminal Traditions. Speaking out against these crimes almost always leads to violent reprisals. The victims’ coerced silence helps give these “traditions” and their perpetrators an air of normalcy that allows the vicious cycle to continue. I want Silent Witnesses to point out the need to give a voice to the voiceless.”
The exhibition includes works of art by: Corinna Button, James Deeb, Sheila Ganch, Claire Girodie, Sergio Gomez, Andrea Harris, Paula Kloczkowski Luberda, Richard Laurent, Kathy Liao, Zoriah Miller, Nancy Rosen, Lorraine Sack, Valerie Schiff, Barbara Simcoe, and Anne Smith Stephan.

The public Opening Reception will take place on Friday, November 7 from 6:30-9pm. The Art Center of Highland Park is located at 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL 60035. The gallery is open Monday–Saturday 9am-4:30pm. Most of the pieces included in the exhibition are available for purchase. Additional information can be found at

James Deeb was born behind the wall in Berlin, Germany. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University South Bend in 1988 and earned a Master of Fine Art degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in 1994. Deeb’s first one-person show was ‘Dislocated Media’ in 1988. Since then, he has shown his work in numerous competitive, group and solo exhibitions. James lives and works in Evanston, Illinois.

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