A gawking tour of privately owned art | Calendar | Chicago Reader

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A gawking tour of privately owned art


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Who peers through the windows of rich strangers, besides burglars and realtors? Chris Huggins, a 27-year-old carpenter and conceptual artist, pedals through tony neighborhoods at twilight, admiring artwork in private homes he spots from the street.

"Some houses are very clearly designed with the intent to provide a view inside--it goes back to picture window design in the 50s," he says. Instead of letting light in, these windows show acquisitions off. "As an art fan," says Huggins, "I'm just out there taking advantage of it."

As part of Off Site Specific, a public performance series sponsored by Randolph Street Gallery, Huggins has created "Art in Private Places," a reconnaissance tour for cheap connoisseurs. On Friday and Saturday at 8 PM Huggins will lead like-minded bike-riding culture-vultures on a free field trip. "I'm mocking the guided-tour mentality that seems to be sweeping the nation," says Huggins. "Actually I have some good friends who are tour guides." But none who dwell in Gold Coast town houses flaunting Picassos. Peeping parties will be limited to 15, with additional forays scheduled if there's a demand. To make reservations call 666-7737.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Armando Villa.

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