A cool breeze came off the lake carrying in a little bit of cigarette smoke through the front door of the packed Degenerate Art Gallery in Edgewater. There hangs the first solo exhibition of portrait painter Julius DC Bautista.


These are portraits of people caught in the explosion of life, splattered across the canvas. The work has strong Pop art and Anime influences. The movie “Waking Life” appears to have had a profound impact on the artist. Julius’s current and upcoming work draws much of its influence from the movie’s unique visual language.

A common motif in the paintings are the red and blue eyes. Which according to the artist, carries with it multiple meanings that you can take your pick from. It can be a little Taoism, representing ying and yang, or whatever other reasoning your mind can conjure.


After making the jump to being a full time artist right out of college, his first priority was to find an environment in which he could continue to grow. After a month he was accepted in to the Fulton Street Collective.

Julius’s next project with Locallective in Wicker Park is to be a “Pop Art Extravaganza.” Working with four other collaborators, the installation is based off a graphic novel with large format panels reaching dimensions upwards of 7 foot by 9 foot. The project will also include 50 medium-sized pieces and 150 smaller ones that will fill the space.

For this endeavor, an Indiegogo has been launched help cover the production costs. Bautista says, “At the end of it all, it’ll be a visual barrage of color, stimulation, and over-information; which is essentially the core motif of my work.”


Julius DC Bautista photographed next to his work.

Having sold over half of what was exhibited at the Degenerate Art Gallery we will most likely be seeing more of Bautista’s paintings in that space as well as all over the city.

The exhibit runs until May 12th, 2015. Degenerate Art Gallery is located at 5554 N Winthrop ave Chicago, IL in the Edgewater neighborhood. Click here for more information.

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