art narratives

ilia chidzey | contemporary art + design
A thousand words… one picture

Art narratives are not always at play in my art, but when they are, they tend to be colourful and distorted sojourns into my subjects minds. Observing others’ lives through warmly lit windows in the comforting darkness of night, I imagine I can see a raw honesty in my subjects which I weave into a fusion of fantasy and truth.

I have always loved reading, and the stories that I connected with were the first to fall victim to my distortions. Then, as I started to probe a little deeper, I discovered that the authors of these stories also led fascinating lives, sometimes more peculiar than their works. William Burroughs, Franz Kafka and Carson McCullers are a few. I unearthed epic tales of frustration, obsession and misunderstanding. I found people who had been trapped by their passions, their insecurities, or society. Beautiful personalities who drifted in and out of the public consciousness, only to be resurrected years later. People such as Bettie Page, Camille Claudel and Nikola Tesla, all of whom suffered in a myriad of ways. Some who experienced their 15 minutes of fame and mysteriously vanished. I found where they hid, I explored their obsessions and exposed them in my visual mythologies.

The quirky characters that wander in and out of both my inner and outer worlds are my subject matter. This means that nothing is ever a secret – my art narratives encompass those of the people that surround me. Whether I know them intimately or stole a glimpse of a fragile birdlike man out of the corner of my eye – they all have tales to tell.  I like to think of myself as a conduit that channels obscure tidbits of information to a waiting world.

Click individual images for a detailed explanation.