OBVERSE PAINTINGS

by Fred Chuang

 

 See a mini-documentary of me and my work HERE.

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More photography of my work and an interview HERE.

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ARTIST STATEMENT              

My work is the product of visual hedonism coupled with the synthesis of a hybrid past and a desire for discovery. My artwork results from my finding points of balance between my Asian heritage and my American upbringing, between my personal extroversion and my social sequestration, between my Southern education and my New England re-education, between my analytical left-brain and my intuitive right-brain, between my intentions and the consequences of my actions.  

Earning an MFA in Theater Design, I was not directed through any standard artistic pedagogy, thus my unorthodox medium. The defining dynamic of my personal creativity is my use of spray paint as my primary means of applying pigment. This "hands-off" technique, along with the fact that all my work to date is painted on the back of a thin, clear panel, underscores my peculiar relationship to my own sense of control or "responsibility" to my making of art. I seem to have chosen a way of creating that leaves the door wide open for the influence of the Muse--or "accident" as others might describe it.

My work is, at its closest analysis, "micro-pointillism"--tiny drops of color. With the intervention of my universal mask of water drops, this micro-pointillism coalesces into a larger "macro-pointillism" created through the distinctions of layers of color. The resulting organic complexity of chromatic interaction is unlike anything possible with the conventional tools of application. Add to this the chromatic enrichment of the extremely thin, clear layer of my "canvas," and the results are truly unique.

Coming late to a self-definition of "fine artist," I have relied on a more scattered, exploratory approach to find a path to artistic maturity, as compared to the gracious delving and gradual peregrination of many long-term career artists. Of course, as with all artists, this creative trajectory is as much a product of my personality as it is of context. I am currently focused on four bodies of work: Calligraphics; Impressionist Landscapes; Organic, abstract puzzle compositions; and Representational puzzle compositions.

TECHNIQUE                          

I discovered my painting technique in an exploration of the visual properties of art glass with the objective of engaging the flexibility and spontaneity of painting.  The bonus was that my new process, working on the back side of a thin, clear panel, forced me to relinquish a generous amount of control.  This twist allows me to rely on my intuitive resources, injecting surprise into an otherwise strategic process of creation.  

My paintings are created using acrylic spray paint on the obverse side of clear co-polyester panels--PETG.  They are “obverse” paintings, rather than “reverse” paintings, in that they are not the product of a backward, formulaic process, but rather the result of a creative “dialogue,” action answered by a strategic, intuitive reaction, generated to be viewed through the clear surface.  Working from behind is not the equivalent of working in reverse. My creative arc parallels that of conventional techniques in that backgrounds precede foreground and details.

Using water, static, objects (found or created—to mask or print), and other masks and influences, I determine shapes and textures, building the paintings, color layer by color layer, overlaying textures and hues. I also use sgrafitto and solvents to clear and repaint areas or to manipulate the laying-on of colors in acrylic and other media, including oil-pastel, metallic pigments, and nail polish. I have also used collage in some works.

Finally, the optical qualities of the polymer "canvas," through which my work is viewed, becomes an additional “medium” in the finished work. This last mentioned element, though starting point of my art-making, provides the finished pieces their textural "fingerprint" and chromatic intensity that is oft-mistaken as copper enameling.

Each painting is unique—unrepeatable, by virtue of the technique. Some paintings are coated with a thin film of polyurethane to protect the surface. Mounted and framed, these delicate pieces are adequately protected for normal handling but, as with all pigmented fine art, they should be sheltered from direct sunlight, impact, and excessive heat.

                                                                              

 SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
 June 2013          Pasadena Society of Artists 88th Annual Juried Exhibition, group show, Burbank, CA
  May 2013          PHOENIX, group show, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
 Nov. 2012           Spectrum 2012, group show, SLAC/Citibank, Los Angeles, CA
 Feb. 2012           Pasadena Society of Artists 87th Annual Juried Exhibition, group show, Burbank, CA, Merit Award(one of three, co-equal top awards)
 Nov. 2011           Spectrum 2011, group show, SLAC/Citibank, Los Angeles, CA
 Sept. 2011          2nd Annual Southern California Black and White Juried Exhibition, group show, La Jolla Art Association, La Jolla, CA
 Oct. 2010           West Hollywood 25th Anniversary Celebration in Art, West Hollywood, CA,   Juror: Howard N. Fox, Curator Emeritus of Contemporary Art, LACMA
 Aug. 2010           2010 Los Angeles Juried Biennial Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA,   Jurors: Franklin Sirmans, Department Head-Curator of Contemporary Art- LACMA and  Ali Subotnick, Curator with the Hammer Museum
 Dec. 2009           ACE, group show, Pasadena Society of Artists, Los Angeles, CA
 Nov. 2009           Fall Exhibit, group show, SLAC/Citibank, Los Angeles, CA
 Nov. 2008           Gathering, group show, SLAC/Citibank, Los Angeles, CA
 July 2008            Accolades Selection, group show, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ventura, CA
 Oct. 2007            Accolades Selection, group show, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ventura, CA
 Oct. 2007            Inspire, group show, QRC, Pomona College, Claremont, CA
 June 2007           Diversity in the Arts: Reflections by 50+ Artists, group show, Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, CA
 Sept. 2006          ArtCrawl 9, group show, The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
 Feb.  2006          White Space I, solo show, W Hotel, San Diego, CA
 May  2005           More Patterns, group show, Bamboo Revisited Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
 April 2005           Concentric, solo show, Fallbrook, CA
 April 2005           Create:Fixate, group show, Los Angeles, CA
 July  2004           Emergence, group show, Canoga Park, CA
 July  2004           LA Mart Art, group show, Los Angeles, CA
 July  2004           S.L.A.C. Summer Salon, group show, Los Angeles, CA
 July  2004           Carnival, group show, revisited Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
 May  2004           Montrose-Verdugo Juried Art Exhibition, Glendale, CA., Honorable Mention
 April 2004           S.L.A.C. Group Show, Los Angeles, CA
 Jan.  2004           Greater Midwest International XIX, Warrensburg, MO
 Nov. 2003            Fred Chuang, solo show, Coffee Table Gallery:  Los Angeles, CA
 Oct.  2003           Fred Chuang, solo show, Martini Gallery, West Hollywood, CA 
 Oct. 2003            Rosenthal International 2003-A Juried Competition, Fayetteville, NC
 Aug. 2003           Northern National Art Competition, Rhinelander, WI
           

PUBLICATIONS

 2011                      Pacific San Diego Magazine, Most Modern Art issue, Honorable Mention

 2007-present         IEEE-Software, Bi-monthly cover illustration, National

 2006                      Taj Majal Review, Issue #10, Govindpur Colony, Allahabad, India

 2004                      Artwanted.com CREATIVE MINDS, Art Slam Press, Bountiful, UT

 2003                      Tulane Review, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA