Corey Hagberg Joins CARTWHEEL Shop’s Six Featured Artists

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CARTWHEEL is now representing Rockford, Illinois artist Corey Hagberg!

Corey Hagberg’s CARTWHEEL representation is thanks to a Miami art fair encounter: While exploring Fountain Art Fair in December, CARTWHEEL founder Cindy Schwarzstein rounded one of the labyrinthine fair’s corners and immediately spotted the artist’s psycho-chromatic layered paintings. She was drawn to his use of machinery images and found objects in multiple layers. She explains:

I noticed Corey’s artwork at Fountain because it’s kooky. I normally like dark colors but it’s his use of the fluorescents that is so interesting. There is something very refreshing about Corey’s art, even though there’s a darkness to it. I didn’t know he was a street artist at first, but his work had a feeling of street art that called out to me. His wall was one of the first you saw in the fair. It caught my attention, and I spent the majority of time looking at his work, even though I had just arrived and there was so much more to see.

For CARTWHEEL it offers a different level of work that we have. There’s a certain depth to it;  you know there are stories. It’s a little more illustrative, but it has a feeling of found objects, and if you were to look at the CARTWHEEL collection, it’s a lot of outsider art, found art, street art and assemblage art. When I started talking to him and learned that he’s a skateboarder — that he’s part of the skate tribe — I felt connected to him. This was his first fair and he hasn’t had a lot of exposure.

About the artist: Corey Hagberg uses spray paint, oil paint and oil enamel, and sketched or screen printed backgrounds, among other mediums, to create multi-layered paintings that are part street art, part collage and part surrealist self-portrait. His work is affecting in its dealing with taboo topics such as death and mental illness, while often presenting a gentle and optimistic side. Seven original works by Corey Hagberg are now available on CARTWHEEL.

Born in suburban Chicago, Hagberg was introduced to art at a young age through skateboard graphics and graffiti. With his teen years spent moving around from town to town, he was a trouble-making skater who liked to draw. Though he was kicked out of Christian school in Arlington Heights Illinois, Hagberg eventually landed himself in art classes at McHenry County College, and later Northern Illinois University, where he earned a BFA in 2005. After a journey into the dark side of drugs, which caused him to put down the paintbrushes for almost two years, Hagberg emerged on the bright side, picking up old canvases forgotten from years earlier and using almost-glowing colors to express the darkness he overcame. In 2012 he received an Associates in Applied Sciences for digital art production and has been showing artwork in Chicago and Rockford since 2009.  Hagberg has shown at Fountain Art Fair Miami, Oh No Doom!, Around the Coyote, Flat Iron arts, Rockford Art Museum, Paper Crown Gallery, Chicago Truborn, Clark Arts Gallery at Rockford College, J.R. Kortman center for design., Praire Street Gallery and others.  In 2013 he will exhibit at Fountain Art Fair NYC, Milwaukee Print Exhibition and Pick me Up Contemporary Graphics Show in London in April with his 5-artist collaborative print posse, Fatherless.

Hagberg shared his experience at Fountain Art Fair Miami:

Miami was a blast. The whole trip was memorable. Strengthening relationships with friends back home, painting freely in the streets. Meeting new artists, I’d say becoming involved with CARTWHEEL was a great experience. Cindy has a very positive energy about her. It was great meeting her. Working with En Masse on the boat was great. The finished product was amazing and completely improvised to boot. Doing a mural in Wynwood with Samuel Mark, Matt Daubs, Rob Fogle, ENX, Mr. Wisby and Adam Dare was great. Meeting Russel Simmons and having our friend Jesus do a dirty puppet show for him was pretty funny. Crashing the Rip N Dip party in south Beach then swimming butt naked in the ocean at 4am to wash away the grime of the day stands out. Just the vibe all around and the countless unique experiences. It was the first time I picked the nose of a total passed out stranger. That’s magical, to say the least.

A Stolen Mantra About Love, Screen printed images on canvas with arylic and oil enamel, 2010, by Corey Hagberg.

Corey Hagberg in the Wynwood district of Miami, Dec. 2012.

The same wall as above, finished.

Corey Hagberg.

En Masse boat in the Living Walls section of Fountain Art Fair, Dec. 2012.

En Masse boat in the Living Walls section of Fountain Art Fair, Dec. 2012.

l to r: Javier Jiminez, Corey Hagberg, Jesus Abraham Correa and Sarah Danielle Stewart at Fountain Art Fair, Dec. 2012.

Wings of the Serpent, Collaged drawings/photo transfers, oil enamel, oil paint, spray paint on wood panel, 2012, by Corey Hagberg. The artist started work on the gritty background of this piece in 2005, left it for a few years and came back to it in 2012.

If you are interested in receiving news about Corey Hagberg from CARTWHEEL please send an e-mail to with the subject line, More Corey Hagberg info please!

Top image: Litmus Ghost Smiles is collaged drawings, acrylic, oil enamel on canvas. It was unfinished in an evidence locker for four years as a result of getting in trouble with the law for graffiti.

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