top of page
  • Delven Shaw


The acclaimed exhibition Skin in the Game will open in Chicago from April 7-24, 2022, presenting works by over 40 diverse, local and international artists, including several from Chicago. Curated by Zoe Lukov and produced by Abby Pucker, Skin in the Game and its vibrant public program is a collective offering, exploring touch, transmission, and Skin—the potential, vulnerability, and risk contained therein—as a boundary to protect from danger or as a porous border to receive. It seeks to establish a dialogue with the erotic and has through lines that touch on game, color, race, the hunt, sport, religious iconography, and competition.

The Chicago iteration features newly commissioned works and site-specific installations by several Chicago-based artists, including Brendan Fernandes, whose work will include a performance that engages with a number of his bondage-related sculptures, toeing the line between the mundane, the torturous, and the pleasurable; Yvette Mayorga, who has created an experiential journey through a curated selection of her works that harness the main emblems of her iconic, nostalgic Polly Pocket pink aesthetic while exploring issues around migration, immigration, and home; Moisés Salazar, who has been commissioned to create an altarpiece that appropriates traditional Mexican religious reliquary and repurposes the sacred structure as a site of adorned queer brown bodies; and Jake Troyli, who is creating a new painting that explores sport, competition and performance. in Los Angeles-based Gabriela Ruiz is building a new, entirely immersive environment that is magically fantastical and transportive while also highlighting issues of surveillance.

In addition to works from important collections such as Theaster Gates’ Reliquary, Lynda Benglis’ Eat Meat, Clarity Haynes’ Genesis, and Marilyn Minter’s Pamela Anderson, historic and iconic works have been added by Chicago-based artists Nick Cave, Samuel Levi Jones, Kerry James Marshall, Ebony Patterson, Cheryl Pope, and Soo Shin.

“Having Skin in the game is about power, danger, currency, play, joy and indulgence as well as the taboo, the voyeuristic and the hedonistic. There is inherent violence and vulnerability, as well as a promise of pleasure, that comes with being in one’s Skin," said Lukov, an independent curator based in Los Angeles on her inspiration for the exhibition. “Reimagining the show for Chicago has provided me the opportunity to explore the multi-layered landscape of the city through the eyes of its artists and their creative processes.”

Chief among the organizers’ goals for the exhibition, which is free and open to the public, is to create a new and accessible space, a hub for arts and culture that breaks down the divides of a heavily siloed art world and provides opportunities for dialogue and cross-pollination of diverse opinions and sectors of the city. Located in the Fulton Market area of the city in the former meat-packing district, the neighborhood is now teeming with nightlife, barbershops, and tattoo parlors, attracting a large cross-section of the city’s arts and culture community.

Abby Pucker, an early supporter of the exhibition and the producer spearheading the presentation in Chicago said, “My mission in bringing the exhibition to Chicago is to create space for convening across multiple communities that may not always interact. I believe that it is vital to make arts and culture a key part of our civic engagement and to highlight this diverse ecosystem by bringing together community groups, small businesses, artists, important private collections and arts patrons.”

An international roster of artists from Argentina, Barbados, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Syria, the U.K. and the United States lend diversity to the presentation in terms of genre, trajectory and perspective.

Featured artists: Derrick Adams, Isabelle Albuquerque, Tosh Basco, Carlos Betancourt, Lynda Benglis, Rashayla Marie Brown, Zoë Buckman, Nick Cave, Raúl de Nieves, Jen DeNike, Jane Dickson, Amir H. Fallah, Brendan Fernandes, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Nicholas Galanin X Merritt Johnson, Theaster Gates, Clarity Haynes, Micol Hebron, Camille Henrot, Zhang Huan, Rashid Johnson, Samuel Levi Jones, Jesse Krimes, Kerry James Marshall, Yvette Mayorga, Marilyn Minter, Maynard Monrow, Carlos Motta X Tiamat Legion Medusa, Ebony Patterson, Paul Pfeiffer, Cheryl Pope, Erin M. Riley, Florencia Rodriguez Giles, Sheena Rose, Gabriela Ruiz, Kathleen Ryan, Moises Salazar, Soo Shin, Hank Willis Thomas, Jake Troyli, Juana Valdes, David Wojnarowicz, Agustina Woodgate, Kennedy Yanko and Jwan Yosef.

Skin in the Game is generously sponsored by Alec & Jennifer Litowitz and Shapack Partners.

The original conception and first iteration of Skin in the Game at Miami Art Week 2021, was presented by Palm Heights. SKIN IN THE GAME TO OPEN IN CHICAGO APRIL 7 - 24 TO COINCIDE WITH EXPO CHICAGO

47 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page