Upon moving to Chicago there were a few artists living and working in the city whose work I immediately felt connected to in very distinct ways. I’ve never altogether shared this affection with them directly, though over the years I’ve attempted to collect and support their work when I’m able. In my home, I layer and stack items I’ve purchased, like these, with objects I’ve made or been given, in ways that don’t seem altogether possible or acceptable in public exhibition spaces. Doing so I like to imagine a world where property produces less social inequality and instead helps shape alternative forms of togetherness by revealing the shared embedded energies of each individual involved. And so, I think of this gathering of works as a playful homage to this spirit and these artists. Thank you, all, so very much.
My father made the coiled vessel on the bottom of this stack for an assignment in high school art class. He always mentioned that he would have loved to be an artist or designer but was unfortunately never encouraged to do so and instead worked his way through a life of electrical parts sales, which in turn helped me become an artist and designer. The terra-cotta pot above it was made by GnareWare Workshop and was a gift for attending the Acre Residency Hearth benefit. My attendance at the benefit was itself a gift from a friend. Within the pot, is a small succulent that’s been cared for by Claire Michelsen, who to my astonishment effortlessly encourages the growth of so many types of life that she deserves endless awards and recognition, but for now, will have to accept this re-arranged pile of things she already owns as such.
Tobey Albright grew up in various small towns in central Illinois, and attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, where he received a BFA in fine arts and a minor in art history. In Florida, he managed and programmed a contemporary art gallery while contributing to regional arts publications as a writer. He later lived in Germany where he helped found Legwork—a collaborative which programmed interventions within the fields of social, artistic and political practice. After relocating to Chicago in 2011, he has designed and developed a number of websites and publications for a number of arts organizations, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s exhibition and education programs and most recently the Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and works in Chicago and is co-founder of Hour, a design studio.