I boogie down Glenwood to Farwell, but curiosity attacks like a raging tabby. I rebound to the open door of the B1E Gallery adjoining the sculptures. Music is playing easy, and at the opposite end of this working studio space I find resident artist John Bambino silhouetted in quiet contemplation while enjoying a Black & Mild.
John created the bike sculpture in the garden. While he puffs we talk art, his triptych for the adjacent Lifeline Theater, and his training at Loras College in Dubuque. He graciously invites me back into the studio to talk more while he works.
He was doing an installation on Morse Avenue in the middle of Snowmageddon back in ’11. Of course, you know it…
“Felt awesome! Who else can say they put up a sculpture in a snowstorm?”
John lost his phone in the snow, and in a true Little House on the Prairie moment went back out into the blizzard to find it. Never found it, but there is “always wishful thinking.”
He turns in his work chair with the sun shining in behind him and gesticulates his geography.
He pulls out his current phone and shares an image of a new piece that he says, for him, is a kind of break from style. He turns in his work chair with the sun shining in behind him and gesticulates his geography.
“A process of trying to loosen up a bit.”
The all-brush work of Persistence of a Dog’s Dream catches my eye on the wall. This Daliesque canvas is companion to a larger 15′ x 23’ version as mural in Churchill Dog Park off Damen in Bucktown. John also paints carrots in heroic poses. He smiles.
“Jack of all trades, master of none.”