Installation series from ONLI STUDIOS presented at the DuSable Museum in Chicago.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 opened with a retrospective exhibition of Onli's work and closed with his curating a group exhibition on the arc of the growing Black Age of Comics movement which was kindly extended until Dec. 31st 2015.  

We thank all of you that participated and appreciated both important showcase.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Prof. Onli who earned a BFA and M.A.A.T. from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is featured in the center photo on the lower portion of this banner that was place around downtown Chicago in 2005 to promote its then, annual scholarship fundraiser. 

Here Onli would create a Rhythmistic painting while collectors watched.  The painting by Onli, along with paintings by other participating alumni would be purchased.  All of the resulting funds would apply to a scholarship fund for deserving students.

Onli often stated this was a fantastic opportunity to share Rhythmism with mainstream collectors and art lovers who usually never experience his type of art.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 Prof. Onli sitting on his Rhythmistic Bench that is part of the permanent collection at the Chicago Children's Museum.
Onli set up these denim clad Rhythmistic mannequins, along with others, as an installation at the DuSable Museum in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

 CHICAGO- ONLI STUDIOS will be showcasing its upbeat Kwanzaa Happiness Print/Post Card at the Africa International House of Chicago this weekend. It is an oversized suitable-for-framing postcard with the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa printed on the back. The limited edition print-card comes with an envelop for holiday sharing.
It is on sell at the Trading Post gift shop of the DuSable Museum in Chicago.

 Turtel Onli "Place Setting" is a framed oils on archival canvas-board, Rhythmistic painting that puts a new upbeat face on Kwanzaa. It shows an African-American young woman enthusiastically setting up an arrangement as part of a Kwanzaa celebration. The symbolism abounds as she is wearing the color indigo, the bowl is a zebra motif, the fruit is the health giving watermelon, along with the balance created by the placement of the two Ashanti Dolls. Serious collectors, curators or lovers of great art can learn more about this and other Rhythmistic paintings by visiting the ONLI STUDIOS web site.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Prof. Onli presenting at the 2015 Pocket Con in Chicago.  How does one who is interested in Afrofuturism not collect and share Rhythmistic Graphic Novels from ONLI STUDIOS?  

For those who are ready to leave the standard mainstream comic books and Manga characters and products behind!

 Heroes and stories with a futuristic African flow of art and text. Content and context.
$20.00 for over 90 pages of Fun, Fire & Funk from the "Father of the Black Age of Comics."

Monday, November 30, 2015

 There is no set formula to financial success. But Rhythmism has had impact in the way of influencing, and laying the foundation to a language and conversation that takes the Black in the artist to intellectual and imaginative levels that go beyond the limits of what most folks feel "Black" should be.

 Our 3rd Friday open studios at ONLI STUDIOS in the Bridgeport Art Center offers this heat on a monthly basis.
Chicago is the hub and template for more than just the limits of a narrowing mainstream…but that of  widening river and flow.  Rhythmism was born there by Prof. Onli in the 1970s. He is still challenging the gallery and auction communities to accept the value and legacy of this genre's growth potential.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pure and outside of the mainstream gallery scene, but ahead of it by all means:  Rhythmism! Newer emerging Futurists fair best when they mentor under a vintage Futurist. How else can we do tomorrow?  This is why ONLI STUDIOS is open to the right talented dedicate few! Interns!
Sofia's ever-cool installation at the Oct. 3rd Friday Open house at ONLI STUDIOS. She is a studio intern and student in Psychology at the University of Chicago.
She has been learning a studio dynamics base approach to Art Therapy.
Prof. Onli, M.A.A.T. was an Art Therapist for over a decade and taught Introduction to Art Therapy at Columbia College in Chicago.  Onli is looking forward to a focus on the studio practices aspect of art therapy to balance what he senses as a emphasis on analytics and verbal processing.  He often says the need is to put the art up front in the Art therapy process.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Circa 2005: Prof. Onli working on a mural with a Star Wars theme for the bedroom of two young boys.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Prof. Turtel Onli in a bief interview with Najee Dorsey of Black Art In America during a sneak preview at the WPA tea South Side Community Art Center int he Historic Bronzeville District of Chicago.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Greatness happens in every time period and in each time zone!'

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Onli created this illustration for the late great Miles Davis in 1975.  In two presentations to the futurist jazz master, Miles, voiced his desire to own and use the illustration as an album cover. However he and Onli could not come to terms.  Rumor said that Davis wanted Onli to donate its use for free and Onli wanted to be paid…  Rhythmism abounds. Afrofuturists will appreciate Onli's treatment of the shoes.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

ONLI STUDIOS, LLC. offers selected Graphic Novels for mobile downloads at its site.
 These Rhythmistic canvases, sized 40" X 48" & 30" X 48", serve up ONLI STUDIOS's characters as fine art.  The upper right painting is from Onli's "No Evils" collection. The other three are derived from ONLI STUDIOS' Rhythmistic characters and indie Graphic Novels.

 Onli has re-imagined and manifested the super hero icon as a contemporary mythology in actual expressions of indie creativity, culture and commerce.

They will be shown at "BLACK AGE XVIII" in Sept. in Chicago at the South Side COmmunity Art Center.
 Onli's works have been well received in galleries and visiting artist lectures.
ONLI STUDIOS' has a monthly open studios each 3rd Friday on the 3rd floor of the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago. At 3400 south Racine. Studio #3110. 6pm until 10pm.

Monday, July 27, 2015

 ONLI STUDIOS is featuring its growing "Rhythmistic Watermelon" Collection by Prof. Onli
this summer per each 3rd Friday Open House. For serious curators and collectors.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rhythmistic drawings from my "I Dream of Jimi" DVD exhibition on video.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Attention serious curators and collectors! 
Now, for a word from the Black-American genius visual artist I am!!!

"I have adjusted to being a retired Public School art educator so I can unleash the Rhythmistic beast!!!!! Meaning being PG, safe for school, or worrying about being politically correct does not carry the consequences it once did. Freer to flow!!!

Yes I do create Graphic Novels, Fine Art and Wearable Art. I taught in Chicago Public Schools until I retired. I used to even coach Girls Basketball, Boys Volley Ball and Chess.

But keeping the peace on the gig meant holding back on the Rhythmistc flow.  Now I go where the Rhythm says to go!!!! Remix!  Innovate!  Dictate!  Anoint! Create!  Did I say create??

Those of you that come to hate, imitate or pirate will never rate!  Those who come in good faith and business will gravitate in a show of love, money power and prestige!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Prof. Onli, completing a dance themed Rhythmistic oils-on-linen masterwork. He is sporting a cool jacket from the most Afro-futuristic casino on the planet: "The Luxor".

Thursday, June 4, 2015

 Created in 2010, Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads collection consists of two sets. The installation on view at the Portland Art Museum is one of eight smaller gold-plated editions with four artist’s proofs, intended for interior display and between 20 and 30 inches in height. Photo: Courtesy of Heather James Fine Art.
The installation consists of a dozen gold-gilt bronze sculptures representing the animal symbols from the traditional Chinese zodiac. 

CHICAGO- East / West Zodiac Journal by ONLI STUDIOS is available at the ONLI STUDIOS website as a download per its Shop tab for mobile devices. It will be featured this weekend at the CAKE EXPO at table 34B. This limited edition book features information that compares and contrasts the two major world horoscopes systems, Rhythmistic illustrations of the twelve icons along with space for personal journaling. Historians often state that the western zodiac originated in the North African country of ancient Egypt then traveled onward throughout Europe and the West.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

“It has been said that, “art is the absence of fear”.   Recently I went on a quest to find this quote, by Erykah Badu, on a t-shirt from the Afro Punk website.  While perusing the site for more merchandise that spoke to the culture of art making, I noticed a small window that featured a publication regarding Chicago artist Turtel Onli.  It discussed his contributions to the world of graphic novels and beyond, connecting Onli’s practice to the current movement, which has been coined Afro Futurism by contemporary illustrators.  Since we had been collaborating recently on a series of projects, it was a surprise to encounter Turtel’s story while shopping online.  The publication made me reflect on the impact my colleague has had on contemporary methods of art-making.

The process of illustration merged with a storyline follows an organic, synergistic process that Turtel Onli has cultivated since the 70’s.  A combination of African Centered plots and perfected illustrations makes his graphic novels highly intellectual works of art.  The work visually stimulates audiences while urging reluctant readers to indulge in the adventure.  Process is about action and activity; work flow, concept and consideration. Technology makes it possible for this art form to be accessible for local as well as global communities, collectors, and curators.  Passing along stories- just as the Griots did- puts us in tune with our ancestors.  Rooted in historical context, these graphic novels manifest education through the elevation of a better future.  

As the article stated about ONLI STUDIOS, “We support your dream-not the mainstream”. Which is of the utmost importance to the future of our children as well as their creative spirits.  Turtel Onli’s practice, which predates the movement affectionately named Afro Futurism, merely reminds us that this art form is building a foundation for the next generation of culturally grounded artistic power and prestige. “

Dr. Auburn Ellis

Legendary! "AFROFUTURISM PORTRAITS" is coming. This is a studio portfolio that features faces from the Rhythmic Zone. Due June 2015 from ONLI STUDIOS.

portrait is a paintingphotographsculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. 

Including critical essays, notes and studio insights about the art that is Future-primitif, innovative, intelligent, political, and beautiful. A must have for fans, educators, critics, curators, and collectors.

Onli tends to work from personal visions and something he often calls genetic memories in a future-primitif context. He was a trained professional clinical art therapist and applied aspects of diagnosis, treatment and interpretation to his visual expressive flows. As a graduate student Onli felt some of the theories of Carl Jung were in sync of those expressed by the Renaissance icon, Leonardo DaVinci.
According to Jung, the psyche is an apparatus for adaptation and orientation, and consists of a number of different psychic functions. Among these he distinguishes four basic functions:

( The launch and growth of art movements tend to be compounded, in various proportions, of the original genius of a few genuinely original talents, some few other capable or established practitioners who have been politically or economically co-opted or gone along for the ride, the apprentice work of epigones and wannabes, and a great deal of influential hype. )
  • sensation—perception by means of the sense organs
  • intuition—perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents
  • thinking—function of intellectual cognition; the forming of logical conclusions
  • feeling—function of subjective estimation

Full Definition of PORTRAIT

:  pictureespecially :  a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face and shoulders.

  1. Origin of PORTRAIT  Middle French, from past participle of portrayer First Known Use: 1570

  2. Synonyms: definition, delineation, depiction, picture, description, portraiture,portrayal, rendering, sketch, vignette
DaVinci often wrote of transmutation as a way to shift the power and impact of one emotional quadrant to another one. In this the impulse for violence can be mutated to fuel the quest for learning or expression. The drain of sorrow could be the foundation to courage or hope. Inspiration can cascade from one time period to another era. Our DNA or better yet, the DNA of the visual artist can provide the references for these portraits. Sort of like seeing the peers within.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Onli created the actual backdrop for this photo-shoot in the pre-digital days of the early 1990.  This misty scarlet Mars-scape scene was painted on a canvas of 8ft by 14ft  at ONLI STUDIOS that was photographed with the Black-interplanetaray models standing on it. The way the future-magic was projected in the pre-Photoshop era.  It was used in a major advertisement campaign with a little notice being served that Afrofuturism was upon the Rhythmistic horizon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Do you collect, own, appreciate, curate Rhythmistic or Afrofuturist Visual Fine Art? I often ask folks, "Who is your favorite visual artists?" Why?  Because I want to know, to learn….to see…. 
Fine Art at home!
STARTS 4/20/2015 Blue 1647
7pm FREE, reservations recommended.  Above:  Regina Taylor & Ytasha Womack


Join us for a provocative discussion on Afrofuturism sparked by Regina Taylor’s productionstop.reset.
Sun Ra to Boostsy—Janelle Monae—Samuel R. Delany—Octavia Butler—Basquiat—Renée Cox
Afrofuturism combines historical and science fiction with magic realism. It is used to examine present-day dilemmas of people of color and to reexamine the past while speculating on the future. How does Afrofuturism inform our past, present, and future?
Panelists Include:
Ytasha Womack, Turtel Onli, William Hayashi, Douglas Ewart, Jonathan Woods, D. Denenge Akpem
Monday, April 20 at 7pm
at Blue 1647
1647 S. Blue Island
Chicago, IL
ABOUT stop.reset.
Award-winning actor/playwright/director and Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate Regina Taylor celebrates her 20th season at the theatre with the Chicago premiere of stop. reset. In stop. reset., e-books and digital technologies are transforming the literary world, and Chicago businessman Alex Ames must try to save his long-standing African American book publishing company from extinction. While his employees fret over losing their jobs, Ames finds unlikely inspiration from a mysterious teenager, J., who seems to be plugged into the future. The aging Ames is forced to discover how far he’s willing to go to survive.

Afrofuturism Symposium

Monday, April 20, 2015

"I met with a curator this week end.  He was fresh, very interested and knowledgable.  However he seemed to pause on the fact that my career practice included a variety of styles in fine and commercial art over the decades. Then came the documented fact that Rhythmism predates Afrofuturism as a term and described genre yet shares concepts in distinct areas. Each image below was created by me.

 This happens a lot when folks get a chance to visit me in my studios.  It seems there is still the expectation that visual artists tend to maintain a limited focus and set of influences.
I hope this is the beginning of a trend of curators coming by for a little enlightenment."

Friday, April 17, 2015

"A few lost Rhythmistic moments along the way to being the artist I am today. Circa 1972/1987." The future shows through line, texture and design too.  Not just in tech and science.