OLD TOWN — A self-made Chicago artist is having his life's work of photography posted on Flickr thanks to a crowdfunding page launched by his son.
Vytautas "Victor" Grigas died at 97 earlier this year. He's probably best known to Old Town and Lincoln Park residents as the man responsible for the distinctive buildings at 1516 N. Sedgwick St. and 655 W. Wrightwood Ave., homes he ornamented himself indoors and outdoors, largely through found materials, in the manner of an Edgar Miller or Sol Kogen.
Grigas, however, was also a photographer, having picked up the craft in the Army in World War II and brought it home to Chicago as a livelihood. His son Victor Grigas is now posting his life's work — boxes and boxes of photos — on Flickr with the help of a GoFundMe page.
Over four months, the effort has raised $3,800 on the way to its goal of $10,000, but Victor Grigas has already posted hundreds of the photos on his father's Flickr page. The shots range from cityscapes to more abstract images of flowers, like this one reminiscent of the work of Gustav Klimt.
"It's probably about a fifth of the total of the 35 mm slides, and I'll be updating as more get scanned," Grigas said earlier this week. "My guess is it'll take me a few years to get everything done."
But Grigas has placed no restrictions on the use of the photos through Creative Commons, aside from his father being credited.
"That was key," he said after launching the fundraising effort this summer. "We want to have his name on it."
The work includes many images from years of the Old Town Art Fair, as well as period photos from Chicago including a few of hippies in Old Town and protesters gathering in Lincoln Park during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.