Artist Spotlight - CJ Hungerman
Artist - CJ Hungerman
Born in Pittsburgh and based in Chicago, Hungerman's rise through the emerging art world has been laden with challenges, successes, and a surplus of interesting stories. From jumping into the art market during the collapse of the economy while battling drinking problems, to gaining recognition in the field and starting a family, there are page-turning chapters to CJ’s book.
Receiving his MFA from Northern Illinois, CJ jumped into the world of education teaching traditional art and graphic design courses at a university level. The mid-west transplant was making connections, practicing art and moving up.
Que the economic collapse. Thousands of teaching jobs are lost.
The 2000’s became an unruly time for artists and educators. Out of a job and with new opportunities drying up, the artist ran through a string of jobs to keep the lights on. Bartender, sous chef, trade show designer (to name a few). The daunting circle didn't provide an outlet for CJ to thrive and unlock his creative potential. With a baby on the way CJ, turned to progressing his art to make money and clear his head.
During this time his influences began to inspire art that was reminiscent of the 80’s and the psychedelic pop era. His work started to demand you’re attention. Using abstract shapes, colors and strokes, he created art that represented his experiences, his family and their relationship - combining dissonance and surrealism to form expressive 3-D landscapes.
Find CJ’s work over at the Chinatown Library, a 600-square foot mural that was commissioned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago city in 2016. It is a stunning piece of artwork that combines vivid colors and eccentric shapes and depicts Hungerman’s eclectic thoughts and ideas. CJ has also hosted several solo art shows (most recent one happening in Geneva, IL, at the Geneva Public Library). He also went on to create a larger 750-square foot mural installation for the Islamic Food & Nutrition Corporation of Chicago.
In his free time CJ hangs out and plays music with his kids, enjoys the Chicago food scene and plans on creating more communal pieces and public artworks. Currently, he is working on his other commissioned projects including a piece of the historic B-Line in Chicago in September, and murals + installations in the following cities in 2020. (Phoenix, AZ | Pittsburgh, PA | Miami, FL | Elgin, IL)
C.J. will also be featured at 'American Roulette'.
September 4 - 107 Suffolk Street, NY