Jason Pickleman

April 06, 1965 - May 12, 2024
Funeral Service Information:
Jason Pickleman (1965-2024) passed away peacefully this past weekend on Sunday, May 12, 2024. He was a prolific graphic designer, artist, gallerist, poet, collector, musician, educator, writer, lecturer, DJ, and dance-floor mainstay on Chicago’s social circuit. Amassing art since he was a teenager, Pickleman attended Boston University where he studied English literature—and met Leslie Bodenstein, his wife and business partner at JNL Graphic Design. The pair founded the studio in 1992 and upon Jason’s brain cancer diagnosis, closed their business operations in 2023. Working from a decommissioned post office in Chicago's River North area, they merged their art and design sensibilities with tremendous success. "To live in Chicago is to encounter Jason Pickleman’s work," according to the Chicago Tribune. Local clients include Millennium Park, avec, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Poetry Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, EXPO Chicago, and the Field Museum. Beyond Chicago, JNL has worked with clients including the Prada Foundation and Skinny Pop Popcorn, for whom JNL designed their Warhol-inspired packaging. The space between commercial and contemporary art has been of the utmost importance to Pickleman, who has defined himself by his ability to move effortlessly through these worlds as an artist, designer, curator, and collector. Pickleman was among the creators featured in the 2007 exhibition Young Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago. The artwork now resides in the institution's permanent collection. His art has been exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Design Museum, Ken Saunders Gallery, The Suburban, Dan Devening Projects, Alan Koppel Gallery, moniquemelouche, IKRAM, and The Neon & Light Museum, among others. The CTA, through their Arts in Transit program, commissioned MONT/ROSE Area (2007), a mural of 318 anodized aluminum letterforms celebrating the surrounding street names at the CTA Brown Line Montrose Station. In 2021, Pickleman created a monumental public sculpture for Sculpture Milwaukee, HAND HEART, now permanently installed at Governor State University’s prestigious outdoor sculpture garden, theNATE. Jason leaves behind his loving wife Leslie Bodenstein, caring son Willem Helmet Pickleman (Shelby Heitner), mother Brenda Pickleman, late father Dr Jack Pickleman, brother Jon Pickleman (Pamela Angel), brother-in-law Todd Bodenstein, nephews Jake and Sammy Pickleman, among numerous close friends, collaborators and our beautiful city of Chicago. His legacy knows no bounds. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution towards the conservation fund for HAND HEART: www.thenate.org
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann
Mickey Gallery; 1635 W. Grand Avenue; Chicago. Wednesday, May 15, 2024, from 3-7 PM
Burial is private.