Mike Rea, ‘Make You See Stars’

Make You See Stars
TPP New Gallery Space Inaugural Exhibition
Artist: Mike Rea

at The Pitch Project
706 S. 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Sept. 10 – Nov. 6, 2016

“Make You See Stars” is an exhibition by Chicago-based artist Mike Rea consisting of dozens of wood objects including a 10’ x 10’ x 11’ installation of 33 wooden shooting stars.

Over the past decade Mike Rea has explored pop culture and the American identity through large garish sculptures, installations, and performances constructed from wood. Rea’s work often employs a wry sense of humor combined with a meticulous and compulsive constructive process.  “Make You See Stars” is an eccentric mix of sculpture that reflects the idea of seeing stars literally or the metaphorical connotation of an altered state.  In this installation new and old works have been strung together to explore various points in Rea’s artistic practice and echo a culture of humor, violence, vulgarity, and sensitivity.


Mike Rea studied at and received his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rea currently resides in Chicago and teaches Sculpture at Northern Illinois University. Rea’s work challenges the viewer to experience multiple emotions at once. His replicated and reinvented moments of cinematic horror, science fiction, comedy and drama intermingle with memory to form bizarre personal narratives. His work has shown both nationally and internationally including, but not limited to: the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; EbersMoore Gallery, Chicago, IL; Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA; the Scion Gallery, Culver City, CA; and the Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL; the international exhibition/residency Forest Art, Darmstadt, Germany; the Power of Making exhibition, Victoria Albert Museum, London, UK; the curate exhibition 10,000 Hours, Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Switzerland.