Kellen Chasuk | Plastic Flowers
January 5—27, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, January 5th 7—10pm
This January, Stephanie Chefas Projects welcomes artist Kellen Chasuk with Plastic Flowers, a solo exhibition of floral still life paintings. In her latest work, Chasuk underscores traditional subject matter with themes of death, permanence, and isolation, infusing a distinctly humorous edge. Kitsch and still life find rejuvenation through extravagant textures, aggressive palettes, and conspicuous accumulations that speak of the privacy of one's interior. Chasuk’s canvases playfully layer homages to Manet and Matisse with modern objects like a McDonald's soda cup, nail polish, iPhones, and the occasional rolled joint. Flowers in particular hold significant meaning in the artist's work as they represent an attempt to turn something ephemeral, into something permanent. Applying thick layers of flashe vinyl paint to depict each blossom, Chasuk creates literal plastic flowers. The result is a contemporary aesthetic impulse guided by the moment rather than the monumental.
Kellen Chasuk (b. 1995) is currently based in Oakland, CA while pursuing a BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Chasuk creates art that aims to untangle her ever-changing view of the world through representation of everyday thoughts, objects, and textures. Humor is essential to understanding the work - as it is rooted in self-awareness and offers essential room for growth. The subject matter is derived mostly from an accumulation of visual and academic knowledge through television, advertising, fabric patterns, art history, as well as gender and personal relationships. Chasuk calls attention to the subjectiveness of the human experience through manipulating traditional painting, sculpture, and media techniques. The output being, hopefully, a moment of reflection, a laugh, a relatable discomfort, or a newfound comfort.