The ripples, radiance, fractal blooms, and clustered shapes of Andrew Chalfenʼs drawings and acrylic paintings reference aerial views, fly-over zones, cartography, architectural renderings, urban-like densities, and other natural and man-made patterns, many spilling out over edges, suggesting unseen continuations. His process mirrors that his songwriting and music arranging, involving the repetition of a small selection of formal elements, subtle variation, the timbre of color palate, rhythm, and randomization strategies. Early works reflected a sheer joy in precise, dense pattern-making. The effect of not knowing what to focus on first, becoming overwhelmed and subsequently absorbed in the details, is akin to the experience of mediation or a kind of visual acupuncture. More recent works, including painted sculptures, explore themes of nostalgia, climate change, play, allusions to scientific data and musical expression and notation, and deconstructions reflective of recent social and psychic instability in the world. Though the autodidact Chalfen has always been involved in artistic endeavors, specifically music, drawings first began appearing in earnest in 2008 after the artist had finger surgery due to a non-cancerous bone-eating tumor. Unable to employ his guitar-fretting left hand for months, he found that making intricate drawings with his right was in a way meditative and healing and fulfilled much of his ever- present need to be creative, to have the forward momentum of making art. From that point onward, making art became a welcome creative parallel to a long life of writing and playing music, one pursuit intimately informing the other.
Curator Review: Vibration Lands
This energetic and highly creative work by artist Andrew Chalfen exudes an almost electrical current of harmony and movement. The style and saturated colors, blend and spread out through the entire piece, evoking Orphism and an artistic impression of symbiosis in a cityscape. Chalfen’s incredibly imaginative mind has brought to life a kinetic consonance and fluid realization of space and communion.
- E.E. Jacks