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Aces High

By Phillip J. Speciale

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Aces High

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Artwork Description
Literature, music and art are represented in this piece which was created for the infamous “Three Aces” restaurant in Chicago. The Artist specifically designed the contents of this shadow box to express the interests of owners Anthony Potenzo and Lyle Aker. Three hand carved spades with one entwined in brass wire is the focal point of the piece and is the Artists rendition of their logo. To the upper left of the box is a mugshot of Chicago author Nelson Algren next to his book “The Man With The Golden Arm”. Ironically, Algren went to prison for five months for stealing a typewriter from his school. Next to Algren is “Radio Swan” a photo of an etching by the legendary Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick who frequents “Three Aces” for the burgers and rapini pizza. In the upper right hand corner is a quote from beat writer Charles Bukowski that states “There is a time to stop reading, there is a time to stop trying to write. There is a time to kick the whole blasted sensation of ART out on it’s Whore-ass.” Nothing more needs to be said. It pretty much speaks for itself. At the bottom left hand side of the piece is the Artist’s rendition of “The Piano Has Been Drinking”, a song written and performed by musician Tom Waits. It’s a simple piece that ends with absinthe and Old Crow Whiskey. Just the way it should.


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Original - Details
Mixed Media

Most Common Colors.


Phillip J. Speciale (°1959, Chicago, United States) is a self taught artist who works in a variety of media. Speciale tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way and likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes challenging.

His artworks sometimes directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. With a conceptual approach, he tries to creates intense personal moments luring the viewer round and round in a world of imagination.

Speciale’s works are presented with the aim not to provide an idealistic view but to identify where light and the environment are important. The energy of a place and its emotional and spiritual vibrations are always important. By replaying the work for each viewing  and pushing the evocative power of the work a little further, he tries to focus on the activity of presenting. The character, shape or content of the presented artwork is secondary. The essential things are the momentary and the intention of presenting.

His works do reference a recognizable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that the meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted.

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Aces High Aces High
By  Phillip J. Speciale
Medium/Type:     Mixed_Media
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