Metropolis Cafe Featured Artist: Heather Blecher

Located in Edgewater, one of the country’s most eclectic locales, the Metropolis Café is relaxed and without attitude. Our customers come from all walks of life and we love ‘em all. And they seem to love our coffee and tea, our sweet and savory bites, and our accomplished vegan menu. Did we mention art, music…? Stop by–we’ll fill you in.

New looksies are up on the walls at Metropolis Cafe right now, folks, the photography of Heather Blecher.

What catches her eye? “I’m a little bit obsessed with signage and love old hand signs, signs covered in light bulbs, pieces of history that are attached to the buildings,” says Blecher “Those things become landmarks. I’ll spend all day at an architectural salvage yard.

“The juxtaposition of items that shouldn’t be near one another make me excited and a little crazy, and makes me spend all afternoon taking pictures in some very strange places–like the side of the road.”

Blecher also likes to photograph food, usually her own. [Taking photos of food I make] adds to the sense of accomplishment after working hard in the kitchen,” she says. “I try and grab on to the way I felt making it with the photo. It’s not, ‘Look at these beautiful cupcakes.’ It’s ‘Look at how I felt after I made these cupcakes, or a sundae.’”

Her take on photography was defined by creative freedom thanks to her parents (mom was an artist; dad did glasswork). “My mom took photography classes and set up a dark room in our house,” Blecher recalls. “So I started with 35-mm film. Printing, developing, enlarging…and that’s where I developed my eye.”

She works with a Nikon DSR, D3100 digital camera: “I missed what the bigger camera could do, depth of field,” she says.

Her show at Metropolis Cafe features 18 different pieces (a lucky number for Blecher): The highlight of the show, according to Blecher, is “Sculpture in the City,” a photo of Chicago’s ‘Cloud Gate’ sculpture in Millennium Park that proffers a unique snapshot of the Chicago skyline. She also notes that the framing gives it a very modern and fresh representation: “It’s 24×36 and mounted on gator board. It stands on it’s own and doesn’t need to be matted. It’s an edge-to-edge image, full of color and texture.”

Putting more and more of her daily emphasis on her photography, Blecher incorporates it into her life instead of separating her art from day-to-day existence. “You shouldn’t over-compartmentalize,” she says. “Life should flow and overlap when you find something you love and it takes over most of your brain, and that’s where I’m at with photography.

The back story is that Blecher was born and raised in Rockland Country, New York, about 20 miles northwest of Manhattan. She moved to New York City in the mid-2000′s and spent six years there before being transferred to Chicago. “I never pictured myself living in Chicago, but I adore it. I love the proximity to the lake, the old building I live in, and the amount of space we have here in Chicago compared to NYC.

Stay in touch with Blecher on her Tumblr account; and on twitter at @ArtsyChicago

» Shop for her photographs HERE!

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