Artist/Maker: Alex Chien (b. 1994)
Object/Materials and Techniques: Acrylics / Sprays / Oil pastels on Canvas
Date: Painted in 2020
Dimensions: H. 85 cm. x W. 85 cm.
Art style: Illustration / Graffiti art / Cartoon art / Reflections of Surrealism / Pop Surrealism
Current Location: Artist’s collection
Curator’s note: Making a more or less disguised use of the ‘subversive’ and the ‘transcendental’ which vaguely specify Pop Surrealism’s philosophy, Alex Chien invites the viewers in a hypothetic state of being After The Quarantine. He introduces a utopian version of the life after the global lockdown, due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and of what is ahead.
With strong auto-sarcastic attitude and an inspiring sense of eerie, the artist slips the audience into the perspective of an alternate reality. Poking fun, he draws attention upon crucial social matters of our times as regards the inevitable consequences after the current long-lasting quarantine.
Blending cartoon tainted forms with animatedly arranged figures, picked out in rich vibrant colours, thrusting all together upwards across the canvas, and wrapping the one around the other, the portrayed illustration provokes such an intense vibe to the observer that captivate the eye at once.
In that respect, capitalizing on a vibrant compound, After The Quarantine carries a graffiti expressive power, plus offers a bright portrayal of our present-day crisis-affected life without falling into a sombre atmosphere. On the contrary, all lines and figures convey such strength and power that simultaneously communicate thought and humour, plus, grouped together, reinforce the contentious cartooning act that takes place in front of the viewer.
Generally, the overall charismatic sense of animation and the notable emphasis on many sided detailed complexes further define the distinguished personal signature artistic vernacular of Alex Chien.
Even the title of the work enhances the superficial embedded in the artist’s making process. It offers thought-provoking starting points, and creates reflective connotations for the viewer who inevitably inserts himself in an uncertain cognitive state that follows analogous enforced seclusions.
Through exceptional technical ability and flawless execution, falling, on one hand, under the influence of Surrealism while, on the other, becoming intrigued by the aesthetics of cartoons and comics, Alex Chien certainly succeeds in marking out the uniqueness and the dynamism of a fairly Pop Surrealist oeuvre.