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Colin Chillag

It is Important To Be Nobody

September 5 – December 8, 2018

Navigating the social structure of the schoolyard is fraught with trauma for many young people, a reality that is not lost on Phoenix-based painter Colin Chillag. For his first solo show in New York, Chillag finds focus in the concept of being nobody, a take on both the Buddhist inspired interpretation of nothingness, and the Nihilistic comfort of powerlessness. Working from found photographs, Chillag turns his deconstructed style towards somewhat delicate subject matter — the faces of local school children. In one part of this series of paintings, yearbook portrait-like in their composition, Chillag distorts the features of five young girls, each of their bright eyes made hauntingly inhuman through his methodological build up of paint and dark, scratchy color. The skin of several girls is almost waxen in it’s visual quality, adding another layer of disassociation to the portraits.

In the past Chillag has described his penchant for abstracting his otherwise hyperrealist works with glitching, over-laid lines and unfinished edges as “like a child drawing on a photograph.” This idea is given a new understanding when applied directly to… more