St. Pete’s Prince of Pop Culture enjoyed a big moment in St. Pete Saturday night.
An almost impenetrable crowd of art lovers gathered with Chad Mize at Leslie Curran Gallery to celebrateæ4D3, an opening exhibition of his mixed-media works, presented in conjunction with St.Petersburgäó»s Second SaturdayæArtWalk.
With a decidedly biographical bent, 4D3æprovides a triptych through the artist’s inspirational milestones.æThe show’sænarrative reveals how the Mac changed his life, teenage musical tastes, Keith Haring influences and more. It will remain on view thru July 15, Mize’s 43rd birthday (hence the title).æ
Through the new works, the former curator of the 600 Block’s trend-setting Bluelucy gallery and designer of St. Petersburg’sæWorld Tour T-shirts,æreveals the sights, sounds and personalities that have helped shape his creative style. Clever, poignant anecdotes add a personal touch to each piece’s description.
“This show is my most personal yet,” Mize shared after the show. “It has specifically what I like, what influences me, and, for the first time, I’ve added a story to each piece. It felt really good to do that and be very honest.”
The key to what makes it work: Mize’s knack for transcending the easy manipulations of nostalgia-tugging and trendy graphics. He avoids cliche while inviting fun, humor and an intimate connection.
“For me as a person I try to be all-inclusive don’t try to be cool with a certain kind of crowd,” Mize says. äóìI create something new daily, whether it be design, art, photos, motion, a statement or view. Doing this allows me to stay current. It inspires me to create and make an impact on everyday life. …Having the gallery for so long, I’ve always tried to make people feel welcome and have a fun vibe, to impart a positive message and fun, and make people feel good and inspired when they see my works.”
Lately, Mize has been marketing functional, apparel and fine art through his brand/persona of CHIZZY as “a view on life, fashion, music, satire, nostalgia, politics, and style, expressed through his signature art and design.”
A champion of his St. Petersburg hometown, Mize also helped pioneer the St Petersburg Shuffleboard Courtäó»s Friday Night Shuffle and organized the community outreach for the SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival. Next week he’ll forge new sun-shiny territory as he begins work on a new mural in Clearwater Beach at they Wyndham Resort. He’ll be creating on one exterior wall and the interior of the resort’s new Bad Fins restaurant, opening soon.
In her press release for the show,æARTicles Art Gallery/Leslie Curran Galleryæproprietor Leslie Curran eloquently emphasizes Mize’s motivation, underscored by a “love and desire to live in a unique city”
… “with a passion for pop culture, visual communications, and human nature that connects with his community, ‘Floriduh’ and the universe.”æäóîJulie Garisto, photos by Daniel Veintimilla