The concept of freedom has intrigued Shanoor Devarj ever since it was threatened by the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"Nine-11 gave us all a slap to wake up," said the Munster painter. "The art I'm doing right now, the basis of it comes from surrealism and anxiety."
One of the red-white and blue-streaked pieces called "Tranquil" reflects his difficulty accepting the fact that two airplanes destroyed the World Trade Center. "I could not stand the fact that those huge (buildings) would come crumbling down like small pasta pieces," he said. "The steel so powerful became something so liquid." Another painting titled "Two Stars" represents two cultures clashing, such as Western and Middle Easter.
"Whatever your beliefs are, you can survive together by respecting one another's points of view," he said. Devarj was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States in 1975. He studied Creative Advertising Design in London and studied film at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has owned a marketing firm in Chicago anValparaiso, Devarj Design Agency, for over 21 years.
What: "Freedom Series" by Shanoor Devarj When: May 15 to June 30; opening reception, noon to 3 p.m. May 15 Where: Chalet Gallery, at 7502 Lake Shore Drive, No. 1, Cedar Lake For details: 312/242-1807 or 219/923-0906, www.cherishfreedom.com