This article was originally published by art ltd., in January 2012. You can read it by going here. As one minor note, I forgot to mention that Tasset had actually shown at VonZweck Gallery prior to his Kavi Gupta show.
Born in 1960, on the cusp of JFK’s Camelot administration, Tony Tasset is one of Chicago’s most successful midcareer artists. With public commissions in Culver City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and University Park, Illinois, he has been actively exhibiting his work nationally and abroad for almost 15 years. In 2006 he was the awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. Perhaps of equal significance to the artist’s oeuvre, he threw the first pitch at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field in 2010.
We met at a cafe in Greek Town–one of those old-school affairs where espresso comes in porcelain cups with sugar melted through the shot. We got together to talk about his upcoming show at Kavi Gupta Gallery; despite prolific success, it marks the first solo show of new work Tasset has had in Chicago in 15 years. It was around five o’clock, and outside the window, pedestrians shuffled home from work or school. Inside, the air smelled like sweet bread and pistachio candy. It was the first time I’d talked to Tasset and the cafe seemed a fitting place to do so, reminiscent as it was of a bygone era. “It’s funny, you know, I grew up always wanting to be an artist but I think I wanted to be like Norman Rockwell or Walt Disney,” Tasset said. “In a weird way I’ve just been thinking recently about how my work is like that, but twisted a little bit. But that Norman Rockwell–and Disney–both keyed into this American imagery. I’m just realizing now, duh, I’m making jack-o-lanterns and snowmen.”