Still-life painter Frank Trankina skillfully creates amazingly realistic works in the traditional style of trompe l’oeil, or “fool the eye.”
But his paintings are anything but traditional, as Trankina juxtaposes vintage toys, pop culture icons such as Popeye, Superman, Godzilla and Hula Girl, and other objects to form strange and surreal narratives.
Elmhurst College will host the Trankina exhibition Paintings and Gouaches from February 10 through March 7.
“The kitschy, vintage objects that Trankina collects and that line the shelves of his large, cavernous Chicago studio populate his canvases to create their own humorous and bizarre world,” says Suellen Rocca, curator and director of exhibits at Elmhurst College.
Trankina is an associate professor of art at Northern Illinois University. He earned his master of fine arts degree in painting and drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Northern Illinois University.
Frank Trankina’s Paintings and Gouaches exhibition will run from Tuesday, February 10, through Saturday, March 7, in the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator Artspace. A reception with Trankina will be held on Tuesday, February 10, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 5:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
The Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator Artspace is located in the 200 block of West Park Avenue, just behind the College’s Mill Theatre. The Accelerator ArtSpace will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.
The exhibition is one of about a dozen art shows that Elmhurst College hosts each academic year in two campus venues. In addition, the College’s A.C. Buehler Library permanently houses the College’s unparalleled collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist Art, which explores the vibrant, often outrageous, yet precisely crafted works of Chicago artists between 1950 and the present.