Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
Chicago Artists Coalition welcomes the public to view exhibitions by emerging Chicago artists, join us at opening receptions, or attend education events

2130 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60612

Wednesday-Thursday: 11AM-5PM

Friday-Saturday: by advance appointment

Fleurs de Macadam
Reception Opening

Friday, May 29, 5-8pm

Curated by

Vasia Rigou

Join us on Wednesday, May 29 for the opening of Fleurs de Macadam, a two-person exhibition by Like Queer Animals, a collaboration between visual artist Jessie Mott and queer scholar Chantal Nadeau, curated by Vasia Rigou.

Unicorn-like, flowery creatures with multiple nipples, flaming and fearless carnivorous plants, and a profusion of weeds, pansies, and daisies with foul mouths fill the space. Their eyes piercing; ever-watching—their fiery gaze burns on your skin. Fleurs de Macadam is titled after the French expression referring to those who live or work on the streets—streetwalkers, sex workers, tricksters, queers, and other bodies marginalized by society. Featuring new work by Like Queer Animals—a collaboration between visual artist Jessie Mott and queer scholar and writer Chantal Nadeau—the exhibition dives into the dark, complex and conflicted aspects of what is constructed as human.

Mott’s colorful otherworldly creatures, most of which derive from dreams, blur the lines between human and animal, reality and fantasy, power and vulnerability. As they meet Nadeau’s words—raw and uncompromising, fueled by issues of politics, sex, and desire—a compelling dialogue on societal norms emerges, exploring themes of sexual tension, eroticism, morality, and the resilience found within marginalized communities. Playing on the juxtaposition between the fragile and ephemeral (fleurs) with the rigid and physically permanent (macadam,) the exhibition brings together painting, drawing, poetry, discarded materials and augmented reality to emphasize survival in tough conditions.

By bringing the palpable energy of the streets into the gallery—complete with spray paint, posters, and fragments of poems glued to distressed cardboard boxes—Fleurs de Macadam reframes the figure of the animal and other living entities (think weeds breaking through cracks in asphalt and concrete, symbolizing the persistence of life in unlikely places,) through the lens of queerness. Rather than victimizing or villainizing it, Fleurs de Macadam galvanizes queerness—a powerful reminder that everyone deserves to be in control of their own narrative.

Talking back to the romanticized, misogynist and racialist visions of street sexual outlaws prominent in 19th-century literature and painting, Fleurs de Macadam embraces the inherent, unsettled darkness and playfulness of humanity. Brave, raw, and intensely personal, drawings, paintings, and words stand as a defiance against conventional representations of non-normative sexualities. As themes of desire, identity, belonging, and unapologetic sexuality surface, one finds themselves searching for the queer [animal] within.

— Vasia Rigou, Curator

The opening reception will be from 5-8pm next Wednesday, May 29 at Chicago Artists Coalition | 2130 W. Fulton St.

During the opening, BOLT Resident Abraham Cone will also have an artist talk for his solo show Rustle up a Plume of Silt from 6-8pm. The talk will be moderated by John Neff, artist, curator, and associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Curators
2022 - 2023
Vasia Rigou

Greek-born Vasia Rigou is a writer, editor, and curator. She grew up to appreciate art after years of carefully planned, culture-filled travel itineraries and museum-hopping around Europe with her family. Much of her work writing about visual art, culture, architecture and design, can be found at Newcity, Chicago’s leading culture publication, where she serves as editor. She also regularly contributes to the Chicago Reader and to international magazines OnOffice and ICON. Her curatorial practice focuses on ideas of identity, intimacy and belonging, which she currently explores through the Chicago Artists Coalition’s HATCH residency program. Her work can be found at

Image:  Horizon, untitled #5, 2015. This piece is part of a series of 7 photographs, showcasing the horizon blending into the frozen lake landscape. 

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