I was walking in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a few weekends ago when I happened upon an enormous stack of Monopoly ‘Chance’ cards made from plywood and bolted to the sidewalk announcing a marriage proposal at a nearby church. It was awesome. Immediately I started wondering if it was a genuine proposal? Was it a joke? Or could it be… ART?! Chicago has a fair amount street art if you know where to look, but it’s mostly spray painted stencils and paste-ups, and it’s extremely rare to see something three dimensional or sculptural.
As it turns out I wasn’t the first blogger to make the discovery. Nate Berg from the Atlantic found several sets of cards and actually went to the Armitage Baptist Church nearby to ask if they knew anything (they didn’t). He did figure out that the Monopoly pieces originally appeared back in April and several people on Reddit had a field day trying to piece the puzzle together. Everyone realized there were even more installations around the city, and not only that, the messages on the Chance and Community Chest cards were occasionally being painted over and replaced with other humorous and obscure messages.
After a few desperate tweets and some emailing, I finally got in touch with the artist (or artists!) known as Bored. The person (or group) chooses to remain anonymous but expressed via email their dissatisfaction at the lack of quality street art around Chicago. Saying specifically that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
While there are a number of good street artists in Chicago, this is definitely a welcome change of pace. I’m really excited to see this project evolve and hope they have more ideas brewing.