Artist Luis Sahagun

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2015)—Escombros (Spanish for rubble), a solo exhibition of new work by Mexican-American artist Luis Sahagun will be on view at Kruger Gallery Chicago, 3709 N Southport Avenue, from March 20 through May 2, 2015. 

“Sahagun is an exciting, innovative artist who uses his experience as an undocumented immigrant growing up in Chicago Heights to inform his work,” said Mikelle Kruger, gallery owner and director.  “We are absolutely delighted to showcase, introduce and offer Sahagun’s recent works not only to art aficionados, but also to art enthusiasts who are both eager to own original and meaningful pieces from emerging, up-and-coming artists.”

Sahagun uses cardboard, concrete, metal, wood, and repurposed street rubble to create paintings, sculptures and objects, transforming discarded materials into works of art.  Collectively his artworks create a modern-day anthropological site that represents both his community and his experiences as a minority in today’s United States.  According to Sahagun, “Materials found in the street contain a history created by its residents.  Within this context it is easy for me to connect these materials to people and places.”

In Sahagun’s cardboard paintings, Sahagun uses cardboard as a metaphor for his brown skin, stacking and adhering discarded pieces of cardboard into large, cube-shaped structures.  He then cuts, tears, and slices into these forms with power tools, giving way to scars of the object’s disfiguration while simultaneously embracing the material’s physicality and beauty.  Moreover, each mark suggests a private, painful narrative and celebrates the artist’s hand.

Responding to Sahagun’s exhibition, Two Sides to a River Story, at the SAE Institute in 2013, Jason Foumberg in Chicago Magazine wrote, “Luis Sahagun, a promising young artist, draws compelling portraits on reshaped cardboard boxes.  He also uses the material in sculptural compositions so physically immediate they seem to emote.”

To celebrate and familiarize the public with Luis Sahagun and Escombros, Kruger Gallery Chicago will host an artist reception Friday, March 20th from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.  For more information about Kruger Gallery Chicago and Escombros, visit or call 312.995.0776.

About Kruger Gallery Chicago

Kruger Gallery Chicago is committed to an avant-garde ideal that art can be an agent for social and political change, Kruger Gallery Chicago represents emerging artists working in a variety of media and design.   Gallery hours are Tuesday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday 2 p.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; or by appointment.

Gallery owner and director, Mikelle Kruger was born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1978 and holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Iowa and a master of fine arts from Northern Illinois University.  She lives in Chicago and Marfa, Texas.  Her husband, Matt Kruger, owns Big Bend Brewing Company, a microbrewery outside Marfa, which was just named the most remote brewery in the United States.  Big Bend Brewing’s Tejas Lager will be available at all Kruger Gallery Chicago opening receptions.

In 2016, Kruger plans to open a second gallery in Marfa, Texas.  Kruger Gallery Marfa will focus on artists working in sound, video, performance, and installation with the intention being to impact viewers outside of a typical commercial gallery format.  Nothing from the Marfa exhibits will be available for sale, relics forbidden, and photography (archival or otherwise) prohibited.  Instead, the aim of the exhibition experience will be to instill change or to call the viewers to action.  These shows will be destroyed at their conclusion and can only be remembered through “legend.”

For additional information, visit or call 312.995.0776.  Follow the Kruger Gallery Chicago on Facebook at Kruger Gallery Chicago and Instagram at Kruger_Gallery_Chicago.

About the Artist, Luis Sahagun

Luis Sahagun was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1982.  His grandfather came to the United States in the 1940s under the Bracero Program, working in Chicago Height’s steel industry. Sahagun’s father found fieldwork in the late 1970s, and Luis was brought to this country in 1985, living undocumented until he was naturalized in 1995 under Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  Sahagun, a 2001 graduate of Chicago Height’s Bloom High School, earned his BFA from Southern Illinois University in 2006.  In 2012, Sahagun won best in show at SAE Chicago’s Emerging Artists Exhibition and has been featured in New American Paintings MFA Annual.  He is expected to receive his MFA from Northern Illinois University in May of 2015.

For more information about Sahagun and his work, visit



Artist Profile: