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The Premiere of Tai Taeoalii’s INTRINSIC Exhibit!

April 20 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Artwork by Tai Taeoalii at Jackson Junge Gallery.

One night only, historical launch event – +https://artbytai.com/intrinsic+.

Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago


Award-Winning Surrealist Artist – Tai Taeoalii

Renowned DJ & HipHop Producer – Mr Dibbs & Chicago hip-hop artists “Rich Jones“, “Defcee” and “Nightwalker“.

Legendary SlamPapi – Marc Smith & Founding Slam Poets, the Chicago Poetry Ensemble

April 20th, 2024

For Immediate Release:

One night only, historical launch event at Jackson Junge Gallery, Wicker Park, Chicago:

The premiere of Tai Taeoalii’s INTRINSIC exhibit!


Award-Winning Surrealist Artist – Tai Taeoalii

Renowned DJ & HipHop Producer – Mr Dibbs & Chicago hip-hop artists “Rich Jones”, “Defcee”, and “Nightwalker”.

Legendary SlamPapi – Marc Smith & Founding Slam Poets, the Chicago Poetry Ensemble

When:April 20, 2024. Reception: 6pm-10pm. Poetry Performance: 7:30pm.

Live audience episode recordings of The DOD45 Showtake place earlier that day at the gallery with well-known Chicago hip-hop artists including “Rich Jones”, “Defcee” and “Nightwalker”.

Where: Jackson Junge Gallery

  • 1389 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL , (773) 227-7900

With his break-the-norm-ballpoint-pen execution and his finger-on-the-pulse of the contemporary psyche, Avant Garde artist, Tai Taeoalii, brings together these diverse walks of life into one experience. His “Intrinsic” installation invites attendees to become immersed in his life-influencing paths and passions. Featuring Tai’s drawings of “ordinary, but nuanced objects, intrinsic to the growth of his soul and with a literal twist”

Tai’s work has gained international attention and award-winning recognition (40+ awards) representing the surrealistic mix of pop/eco/political culture. His ballpoint pen images writhe with organic life blurring the lines between animal, man, and monster. His exquisitely detailed creations reach out with tentacles, skulls, cartoon figures, microphones, smiley faces, sea animals, and pop figures becoming provocative narratives. They defy simple explanation with horror and whimsy at the same time.

This seemingly subconscious outpouring of his bi-racial Samoan/Dutch heritage reveals how growing up in a conservative white Salt Lake City neighborhood can lead to withdrawal to a destructive criminal-influenced path, but instead was luckily detoured by his discovery of creative arts.

Hip-hop, filmmaking, tattoo and graffiti art, even slam poetry all seeped powerful ingredients into Tai’s formulation as an emerging artist. Exposure to the Chicago art scene as a young boy flavored the mix, when his aunt, Chicago performance/original slam poet, Jean C. Howard, flew him in to video-tape early poetry productions.

Channeling the past into present, Tai is constantly engaging and encouraging his collectors through his virtual Drink & Draw co-draw sessions, and DOD45 podcasts co-hosted with wife Adrienne, featuring legendary hip-hop artis, DJs, musicians, and other fringe celebrities.

The INTRINSIC body of work is taking off on a new path for Tai. Ordinary objects become symbols of emotional triggers. Bowling Pin, ’64 Impala, Movie Camera, Skull, Pistol, Spray Paint Can, Bowl of Cerea l, among others bend and swirl into distorted yet elegant representations of influences and values. The Power Drill, particularly poignant, not only speaks of his Samoan father, a skilled craftsman who died of Leukemia mid-construction of a family home on the island, but also speaks to Tai’s dedication to build on his father’s legacy of painstaking work and attention to detail.

Tai draws in his other influences by inviting the iconic DJ and hip hop producer, Mr Dibbsto bring his power-blend to the mix.

A long-time fan and now friend, Tai invited Mr Dibbs to become the in-house guest of his DOD45 podcast series. A force in his industry, Mr. Dibbs teamed up with graffitimagazine Scribble to put on the first Scribble Jamevent, which became America’s largest hip hop festival. The event included separate competitions for rapping, DJing, graffiti, b-boyingand beatboxing.

Its past participants and guests have included Juice, Eminem, Adeem, P.E.A.C.E., Eyedea, Sage Francis, Mac Lethal, Rhymefest, Nocando, Skratch Bastidand DJ Abilities.

Tapping into history and family, Tai incorporates early experiences by collaborating with his aunt , performance/video/slam poet, Jean C. Howard and legendary Slam Papi, Marc Smith, along with other fellow original Slam Poets of the Chicago Poetry Ensemble: Rob Van Tuyle, Anna Brown, Mike Barrett, and Dave Cooper.

These poets, pioneers of performance poetry, were at the forefront of the Slam Poetry movement ignited in1986, still running regularly at Chicago’s historical speakeasy, The Green Mill. Marc Smith lead the Slam to its current omni-media, international level.

Coming together to perform in person for the first time in decades, they are creating/performing poems inspired by Tai’s INTRINSIC art works, premiering at this event.

Tapping into the post current power of Slam Poetry, Marc Smith also recruited 3 of today’s Green Mill headliners and National Slam contenders: Andy Karol, Adrienne Nadeau, and Emily Thornton Calvo.


April 20
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Jackson Junge Gallery
1389 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL United States
+ Google Map