Corey Hagberg is an artist living in Rockford, Illinois. Working with paint and screen prints on canvases and wall murals, his work is affecting in its dealing with taboo topics such as death and mental illness, while often presenting a gentle and optimistic side. CARTWHEEL Interview: Corey Hagberg in his Rockford, Ill. Studio (Feb. 21, 2013)

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. Born in suburban Chicago, Corey 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, Corey 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, Corey 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.