Ed Paschke: The Artist Behind the Mask

The WTTW Journal documentary on Chicago artist Ed Paschke. Host Marty Robinson and narrator Ken Nordine explore the contrasts and contradictions of Ed Paschke's life.

00:00Copy video clip URL Slate

00:31Copy video clip URL WTTW Chicago graphic

00:37Copy video clip URL Clips of former Chicago Bear and art collector Gary Fencik, Ed Paschke, and Paschke’s daughter.

01:12Copy video clip URL WTTW Journal opening music and title sequence. Marty Robinson introduces the show and the figure of Ed Paschke, his interest in crime and artistic inspiration.

02:21Copy video clip URL Ed Paschke discusses his approach to making art and the disposition that frames his everyday work. Several of Paschke’s paintings are shown.

03:02Copy video clip URL Paschke in his studio. Narrator Ken Nordine introduces elements of Paschke’s biographical background, including Paschke’s current preparation for a one-man show at the Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York City and his recent retrospective at the The Centre Pompidou in Paris.

03:49Copy video clip URL Artist Tony Fitzpatrick and Gary Fencik describe the visual effect of Pashke’s paintings.

04:04Copy video clip URL Nordine elaborates on the perception of Pashke as “an artist filled with contrasts and contradictions in his life and in his art.”

04:22Copy video clip URL Paschke describes his ideas of “combining old and new aspects of culture” and color theory. Nordine examines the evolution of Paschke’s subject matter and message.

05:46Copy video clip URL Neal Benezra of the Art Institute of Chicago describes the relation of Pashke’s art to media and its power to shape cultural perceptions.

06:07Copy video clip URL Nancy Paschke talks about the differences between the public’s perception of her husband’s art and as an individual. Ed Pashke talks about the inner self and the outer self. Pashke’s turn to more abstract characterizations in his paintings is explored, along with Pashke’s own theory of the perspective of the outsider as an innovative and creative source. Marc Pashke, Ed Pashke’s son, shows a newspaper clipping, which he attributes as an influence from his father.

07:50Copy video clip URL Nordine addresses Ed Paschke’s fascination with crime, in his personal life and art. Paschke’s experiences as a young man are shown to channel into an artistic aesthetic that resists authority figures and experiments with disrupting the status-quo. Paschke reconstructs a self-designed crime tour that he normally gives to friends and family members. He is especially interested in reconstructing the narratives behind gruesome crime scenes notable in Chicago history; he shows where John Dillinger was killed and the apartment complex of serial killer Larry Eyler. Historical video of the crime scenes interlace with Paschke’s narrative. 

10:18Copy video clip URL “Somehow, there’s a relationship there,” Paschke says, “between the act of breaking the rules of art and the act of breaking the rules of society.”

11:52Copy video clip URL Chicago Tribune art critic Alan Artner discusses the public reception of Paschke’s paintings depicting handguns. He explains the subject matter felt threatening to some audiences.

12:22Copy video clip URL Paschke describes the central motivating ideas of religion and handguns behind a recent exhibition.

13:36Copy video clip URL A recent exhibition of Paschke’s work at Playboy Magazine. Paschke talks about how his perception towards exhibitions have changed over the years as well as his relationship with critical and public reaction.

14:17Copy video clip URL Gary Fencik, Tony Fitzpatrick, and Jeff Koons describe Paschke’s influence. An exploration of Paschke’s inspiration for his artwork, especially images from popular cultural disseminated by the media, leads into a glimpse of Paschke’s creative process for new works of art. Scenes from the documentary film “Pigmentata” show how he repurposes cultural images into his own style and medium, including projection on a canvass.

18:46Copy video clip URL A return to the contrasts of Ed Paschke’s professional and personal life. Paschke talks about the experience of working at his studio in the city of Chicago and his home life in the suburb of Sauganash, IL. Glimpses of Paschke’s personal and family life, including his love for films like Taxi Driver.

19:40Copy video clip URL Paschke’s love for basketball extends from his admiration of the Chicago Bulls to his exercise routine, which includes shooting hoops with his son. Nancy Paschke talks about her experience of having Parkinson’s disease and its effects on family life and her husband’s work. Ed Paschke talks about the experience of exhibiting a retrospective of his work and the artistic discomfort of aspiring toward innovation.

24:04Copy video clip URL At the opening of Paschke’s retrospective at the Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York, gallery viewers comment on his work. Paschke mingles with attendees at the opening party. Gallery owner Phyllis Kind comments on Paschke’s artwork. Artist LeRoy Neiman and art critic Dennis Adrian also comment on his work.

27:38Copy video clip URL Show credits

28:40Copy video clip URL Sponsor acknowledgement

29:25Copy video clip URL Static fuzz

 

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