Best Riff on That Weird, Half-Naked, Soft-Focus Portrait in a Window by the Whistler | Best of Chicago 2013 | Goods & Services | Chicago Reader

Best Riff on That Weird, Half-Naked, Soft-Focus Portrait in a Window by the Whistler 

FeelTrip's "FeelTrip Lovers" T-shirt

If you've ever walked up or down Milwaukee Avenue near the Whistler, there's a good chance you've come across a large portrait of a doubly bare-chested couple in a half embrace. The size of the photo will catch your eye, and the gaudy-yet-sincere image will keep you gazing into Foto Quetzal's front window like it was the scene of a gnarly multicar pileup. With its ripped-from-a-dime-store-romance-novel-cover composition and gauzy touch of soft focus, the portrait is awkward and a little nauseating, but the unpretentious and heartfelt display is charming enough to win you over, or at least stick with you; it's the only thing people reference on Foto Quetzal's Yelp page. The strange photograph is the kind of thing that's woven into the fabric of a neighborhood's identity, an enigmatic presence that most folks prefer to enjoy by keeping its existence shrouded in urban lore. Local multimedia collective FeelTrip helped build on the portrait's myth by transposing a cartoon version of the image onto a T-shirt called "FeelTrip Lovers." The shirt is an ironic homage considering the couple's half-naked state, but that just makes it even better. And probably more representative of the neighborhood that spawned it.

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