OhNo!Doom brings the “Belligerent & Numerous”

With a hodge-podge of monstrous-looking toys and walls of colorful, out-there art, OhNo!Doom (ON!D) is an eye-catching space on Milwaukee Avenue that serves as one part gallery, one part collective and one part shop with a focus on toy, street art culture.

Founded in 2005 in the Logan Square neighborhood, six young creative-types set out to establish a space for art to thrive. Growing quickly, they moved to their Bucktown location three years ago with a team comprised of Joey Potts, Lana Crooks, Andrew Thompson, Max Bare, Joe Call and Matthew Ryan Sharp.

“I personally think a collective is a great idea as we are all working together and we are all on equal ground–there is no hierarchy,” explained Potts. “The gallery is our own place where we are able to work together, bounce ideas off each other, and most importantly display artwork from local, national, and international artists.”

Trying to balance day jobs, individual projects and their gallery and group work, the group sometimes feels as though they work two full-time jobs.

“If not three!” chimed in a couple of the artists, busily typing away at their computers.

“Over the years the effort transformed from a hobby to a business, so with that came new obstacles,” said Call.  “It truly is a balancing act, and demands good personal time management and organizational skills, also integrity! We all rely on one another to do what we say we will do to keep things operational and successful.”

Through their busy schedules, the ON!D group curates 10-12 shows a year, featuring the work of established to emerging artists from around the world. This month’s gallery, “Belligerent & Numerous,” is a collection of diverse pieces by Bill Halliar, Britton Walters (Mr. Walters), Brian Walline, James Gilleard and James Liu (Veggiesomething).

Focusing on digital, paper and prints, ON!D collective member and curator Bare, organically brought together the five featured artists after establishing relationships with them through various shows and galleries, showcasing a “Belligerent & Numerous” mix of styles, attitudes, ideas and mediums.

“The ‘Numerous’ came from the many pieces by Brit,” said Bare, describing the plethora of daily drawings by Mr. Walters as part of his “4x6x366/12” installation.

Mr. Walter’s “4x6x366/12” installation.

“And the rest are just belligerent,” joked Crooks.

Despite the joke, some of the works do have a sort of aggressive, in-your-face quality, jumping off the walls with their vibrant colors and sometimes-fierce messages.

Colossal beasts and a struggling hero exemplify this antagonism in Gilleard’s Shadow of the Colossus series, based on the action-adventure game of the same name.

Gilleard’s Shadow of the Colossus series.

“The whole idea for my part of the show was to have 20 or so images that work as one piece,” said Gilleard. “I was excited to show the series as a whole and hopefully convey the narrative or experience of the game through these prints.

Halliar, on the other hand, veers more towards grimness than belligerence in works that he describes as, “colorful, horror-fueled comic pessimism.”

Top: Cutlet; Left: Church; Right: Yeller – By Bill Halliar

“It’s October and I’ve got a lot of spookiness inside me even at the best of times,” he said. “This close to Halloween I cant keep it in at all. It spills out into everything.”

For Veggiesomething, forcefulness comes from his use of “bold, clean, clear and concise” characters—some who may need to be treated for sugar addiction with taglines like “Sugar high” and “Did you say cupcakes?”

Prints by Veggiesomething.

“Belligerent & Numerous” runs now through Nov. 3.

1800 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL 60647
(773) 698.8348
Hours: Thursday & Friday: 5-10 pm; Saturday: 12-7pm