Thursday, April 11, 2024

JAMES DEEB – The Other Art Fair – Chicago

James Deeb, Wallflower, oil on board, 14 x 17"

In 2014, I wrote the introduction for a catalog of work by Chicago Artist, James Deeb. The catalog, Masks & Other Stories: small works by James Deeb, highlighted a sampling of the artist’s intimate paintings, each produced with a heavy application of glistening oil paint. Although Deeb’s technique remains consistent and his imagery continues to be inspired by the mysteriously macabre, the artist is exploring new subjects and an expanded color palette. James Deeb’s artist statement lends insight into this most recent modification.

“...I use my work as an attempt to find empathy and pathos... no matter how “dark.” Empathy and pathos, however, have been hard to come by these past few years. As a result, many pieces in my new body of work are visual reports on the pervasive climate of fear and anxiety that I sense around me...”

The work of James Deeb is on view in Booth 79 on the second floor of The Other art Fair, which opens tonight at Artifact Events. With a new twist of the art experience, The Other Art Fair combines affordable artworks by 110 artists, immersive installations, performances, musical entertainment, and a fully stocked bar.

Artifact Events is located at 4325 North Ravenswood Avenue, in Chicago. The Other Art Fair continues through the weekend... Tonight, Thursday the 11th, 6-10 pm; Friday the 12th, 5-10 pm; Saturday the 13th, 11-7 pm; Sunday the 14th, 11-6 pm. Tickets are available online at:

James Deeb, Earthbound, oil, 20 x 16"

James Deeb, Rag Doll, oil, 18 x 24" 

James Deeb was born behind the wall in West Berlin in 1964. He remembers drawing a lot as a child and making animated movies with lumpy clay dinosaurs. He graduated from Indiana University at South Bend in 1988 and received an MFA from Western Michigan University in 1994.  Deeb’s work is darkly humorous and melancholy in roughly equal measures. He refers to it as art in a minor key.

Learn more about James Deeb at