Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Street Artist Brings Monopoly to the Sidewalks

7/5/12 | by

Have you ever felt like life is just a giant board game? Well the street artist "Bored" certainly seems to think so! As early as April of this year giant Monopoly-style board game pieces have been discovered on the streets of Chicago by locals and tourists strolling around the area. 

These life-sized game pieces seem to be anything from dice to giant Chance cards to a painted "Albany Avenue" block with green hotels already in place. Despite days of walking all over the streets of Chicago we have yet to find the art installment that tells us "Pass GO and collect $200!" - an unfortunate discovery for our bank accounts. Don't worry though, we're not giving up hope yet! On the bright side, we also have not found the "Go to Jail" part of the game, so Chicago residents can rest easy that they won't suddenly be whisked halfway across the city and forced to try to roll doubles.

Chicago is a walker's city with tons of great public transportation options and wonderful attractions accessible by foot. That makes street art in Chicago one of the city's great artistic outlets. Of course, street art is not always condoned by the city itself. Lots of art finds itself under the sad umbrella of "graffiti" and is removed by well-meaning officials. Even art installments such as Bored's Monopoly pieces, which are most assuredly not vandalism, are subject to wear and tear of the elements and the passers by. Sometimes viewers even take it upon themselves to add their own touch to the artwork, as can be seen in the above image of the "Luxury Tax" square near Lincoln Park. See this blog article by Shylo Bisnett for more on Chicago street art.

Luckily it seems as though rather than trying to get rid of or cover up these fun Monopoly street art installments in Chicago, the public is embracing them with the awe and excitement of a kid with an unopened present. Photos and comments about the Monopoly pieces around the city have sprung up on the Reddit and bloggers such as Nate Berg and Christopher Jobson have created exciting posts about Chicago's newest enigma.

Jobson even got the chance to talk to the artist - or artists - about the Monopoly art. Bored does not seem in the least bit afraid of the vulnerability of street art and says, "the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different."

The Monopoly art piece getting the most attention seems to be the stack of Chance cards in the Logan Square area that say, "Clarissa, will you marry me? If yes, advance one block south to nearest church." Although the consensus around town seems to be that it is just one more part of the art phenomenon, many hopelessly romantic denizens of the Internet wish it was a part of a grand proposal scheme. In any case, the closest church was not let in on the secret and no one around town has heard of a recently-engaged Clarissa stepping up to take the fame.

Whether you're a local in Chicagoland or just planning a Chicago vacation, it is definitely worth it to scope out these Monopoly street art pieces in case they disappear. Try ambling around town on your own or check out a Chicago walking tour that will bring you to those neighborhoods, but whatever you do - tell us if you find GO!

Submit photos to us on Facebook if you have stumbled across any of the Monopoly street art locations in Chicago, join our conversation on Twitter and make sure to follow us on Google+! We can't wait to hear more about this awesome Chicago street art.