“The Undercolor” at Rodan, 11.12.09, & Johalla Projects, 11.13.09

"The Undercolor"

In partnership with Rodan and curator Anna Cerniglia, Grolsch will present “The Undercolor: The Primer of Life,” a collaborative art and film series by Elevation featuring burlesque star Angela Eve and newcomer Becca Brown. Elevation is the creative union of artist/graphic designer Erik DeBat and filmmaker/producer Brian Keller.  Together, they have partnered to explore surreal themes of glamour and modern day Americana through the medium of film.

In “The Undercolor,” DeBat and Keller chaotically paint enormous canvases with rollers, mops, brushes, and tennis balls.  The team interacts in a colorful jousting match in an open warehouse, littering the space with paint through expressive handball games.  The result of DeBat and Keller’s efforts are three beautiful, modern paintings, as well as the film “The Undercolor.”

On Thursday, November 12, Rodan will host the opening for “The Undercolor” from 9 pm-2 am.  The kitchen will serve a special menu along with one complementary Grolsch beer.  Grolsch will also be on special for the evening.

On Friday, November 13, opening events for “The Undercolor” will continue at Johalla Projects with a second screening of the film from 6 pm-8 pm.  Also on view will be paintings produced during the filming of “The Undercolor.”

“The Undercolor” will remain on view November 13-17 at Johalla Projects, 1561 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Gallery hours are Friday 6 pm-8 pm, Saturday 1 pm-5 pm, or by appointment during the week.

Contact: johallaprojects@gmail.com or annacerniglia@gmail.com

Erik DeBat began his career painting graffiti on Chicago’s “L” in the early 1980s. He was among the first wave of urban artists to exhibit artwork in Chicago galleries. In 1989, he was chosen by Chicago Public Schools to take part in a mural project with the Chicago Cultural Center’s Gallery 37 and pop-artist Keith Haring. DeBat created and manufactured two international fashion lines, MadFam Ltd. and SuperBest Inc., which he and his partners exported to distributors in Japan and sold exclusively in New York City, Los Angeles, and throughout the Midwest. He has freelanced for advertising agencies and design firms on projects with clients such as 7/11, Nike Town, 3Com, Motorola, Kraft, Heller Financial, and Burger King. Currently, he runs Erik DeBat Design Inc. and continues to paint and silkscreen in his studio in Chicago.


Brian Keller has been working in the entertainment industry for almost a decade.  He spent five years in Los Angeles writing, producing and directing content for G4TV, a lifestyle network with a focus on video games, technology and pop culture. While at G4 he worked on several shows, but found his home on the flagship television show Attack of the Show. It was here that Keller was able to fine-tune his skills, producing everything from comedy shorts to live music. He has worked with such names as Qbert, Fatlip, Fishbone and conducted a range of celebrity interviews including Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage and Howard Stern. Recently, he launched Beeswax Media, a video production company, and is expanding his reach into commercials, experimental and music videos.



About johallaprojects

Johalla Projects was established in the fall of 2009 by Anna Cerniglia as a venue for emerging and mid-career artists. Located in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, Johalla Projects is a collective space collaborating with artists, writers, and curators. In addition to presenting exhibitions in its gallery space, Johalla works to organize and execute public art projects in neighborhoods across the city of Chicago. Every exhibition and project undergoes a thoughtful selection process, assuring that each show presented by Johalla Projects is comprised of the finest contemporary work.

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