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Meet Our Friend: Curtis Kulig

ChicagoFreehand Friends

We teamed up with artist Curtis Kulig to create a 130-foot mural on Freehand Chicago’s east façade. The mural was unveiled on March 20th, which happens to be the United Nations’ “International Day of Happiness.” Entitled “Love Me Smiles for Ella”, Kulig’s piece pays homage to Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of ‘Blue Skies’ with three of his signature ‘Love Me’ smilies in different shades of blue. “Jazz is improvisational and impulsive, just like feelings of joy and love. To get it, we have to be vulnerable, be seen and take risks,” says Kulig. This is the second collaboration between the Freehand and Curtis Kulig, a longtime friend who created an installation poolside for the opening of Freehand Miami.

Here’s what Kulig had to say about his work and inspirations:

What was your introduction to art?
My introduction of art came from my fathers side of the family, mainly my Uncle Phillip Salvato. He is a traditional oil painter and makes beautiful landscapes and portraits.

How did you come up with the phrase “Love Me” as your statement ?
It came at a certain time in my life and was very personal. Now it’s far bigger than me so I’m more curious as to what it means to other people.

This mural is 130-feet tall, any dream walls?
The Freehand is a dream wall for me, what a great location. I am very happy to be present in Chicago and love visiting that city.

What do you draw your inspiration from? Any dream artists that have recently inspired you?
Mark Gonzales inspires me everyday- he is a modern day Picasso. A true artist.

What’s next for Love Me Was Here? Any projects we should be on the lookout for?
I am working on a new series of work. A gallery show in Tokyo at the end of the year and
some exciting sculptures in various cities.

Name 3 things you never travel without.
Well being creator
White t-shirts
Toothbrush