Gallery Exhibitions

Just Do It Forever

9.24.2022 - 10.30.2022

LVL3 proudly presents Just Do It Forever, a duo show featuring Daniel Barragán (Brooklyn, NY) and Noel Mercado (Chicago, IL). 

In Just Do It Forever, Noel Mercado and Daniel Barragán closely examine the presence of the artists’ hand and the delineation of object and art through the conventions of craft and design. In Dr.Tomas Ybarra-Frausto’s “Rasquachismo: a Chicano Sensibility” he named the specific elements and impulses that define what he called rasquachismo’s “underdog perspective,” as an “attitude rooted in resourcefulness and adaptability yet mindful of stance and style.” In this exhibition both artists recontextualize iconography from their respective fields of interest in their efforts to approach the objecthood and histories of visual communication. 

Barragán immortalizes and embeds a coded lexicon of images and text within ceramic vessels, sculptures, and paintings. By synthesizing icons from his own personal history and rock and roll imagery he explores the symbolism of cultural signifiers to further question the objecthood of these artifacts. With focus on the poetic reflection of the regional environment of the American Southwest, Barragan has developed a distinct navigation of the physicality of craft traditions that functions to compartmentalize and preserve his own lived experiences.

Through deliberate technical analysis Mercado creates sculptures and paintings that borrow heavily from the formal attributes of furniture design and advertising. Mercado reimagines the prestige and associations of brand identities through his methods of salvaging and reupholstery; adorning textiles and cowhides with the emblems of American heritage brands. Mercado’s practice gathers from a vast understanding of modern and traditional craft techniques, pivoting the initial function of the proprietary object to underline a shift of the implications of American advertising. 

Just Do It Forever provides a space to meditate on the visual cues and proposed values of our visual communication as well as question the boundaries of the dichotomy of object and art. 

Opening: Saturday,  September 10th, 7 – 10 pm!

Gallery hours are Sundays 1-4 pm and can also be made by appointment. Email or call/text 312-469-0333 to reserve a time outside of gallery hours.

Press Release

Proof of vaccination and masks are required for all visitors during opening events, regular gallery hours, and all private appointments.

Noel Mercado | Look Kool | 2022 | Hand cut and stitched vinyl letters on veg tan leather on vintage bentwood knoll chair | 31.5” x 23” x 22”
Daniel Barragán | BRACERO | 2021 | Acrylic on archival inkjet on board | 19” x 13”
Daniel Barragán | AMERICAN HORROR 3 | 2021 | Archival inkjet print, metal studs, painters tape, silver, cotton and uv varnish on board | 19” x 13”
Noel Mercado | Windshield | 2022 | Custom cut glass, custom pallet, rearview mirror, and assorted Little Trees | 40” x 23” x 18”
Daniel Barragán | HIEROGLYPH 02 | 2019 | Acrylic, archival inkjet print, and sand on paper | 15” x 11”
Noel Mercado | Iconography | 2021 | Embroidered canvas on woodcut Snoopy with vintage marlboro sign | 52” x 48”
Daniel Barragán | PRAISE THE LOWERED | 2020 | Acrylic on canvas | 34” x 47”
Daniel Barragán | PUEBLO POTTERY 01 | 2021 | Ceramic, glaze, colored pencil and varnish | 7.5” x 6.25” x 6.25”
Noel Mercado | Choice of Champions | 2022 | Found punching bag reupholstered on vintage Brno style chair | 30” x 21” x 17”
Noel Mercado | I’ve Never Been Inside of a Rolls Royce | 2022 | Chainstitch embroidery on fabric reupholstered on vintage seating | 47” x 28” x 15”
Daniel Barragán | HAND POT | 2019 | Ceramic and glaze | approx. 5” x 5” x 4”
Noel Mercado | SITGO | 2022 | Gas pump door on school chair frame | 35” x 24” x 20”
Noel Mercado | Not To Be Used As A Crutch | 2022 | Vintage wooden crutch wired with salvaged lamp parts | 7.5” x 23” x 10.5
Daniel Barragán | HIEROGLYPH 01 | 2019 | Acrylic, archival inkjet print, and sand on paper | 11” x 15”