Chicago has played a role in the arts. Poetry, of course, ever since a teenage Charlie Sandburg took $1.50 earned on a milk truck in Galesburg and came here to check out the city's big shoulders. Music certainly, from Louis Armstrong coming up from New Orleans to the Rolling Stones cutting an album at Chess Records on South Michigan Avenue in 1964.
The visual arts? Not so much. The School of the Art Institute draws talent — Grant Wood comes to mind, or Ivan Albright. In the 1960s, a casual group formed around the school sometimes referred to as the Chicago Imagists: Roger Brown, Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum and top dog Ed Paschke, a source of civic pride, with his walk-up studio on Howard Street with its garish lucha libre masks and Swedish postcards. Though I suppose Paschke's student, Jeff Koons, he of metal balloon dog fame, eclipsed them all, though that could just be now. Lasting fame or passing popularity? Hard to tell.
Boggs was in town for the Art Expo at Navy Pier. At a diner, he ordered coffee and a doughnut. He began doodling a numeral "1" on a napkin, then embellishing it into a dollar bill.
His waitress, impressed, offered to buy the drawing — offering $20, then $50 Boggs later claimed....
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