Colin Chillag

United States 1971

Hyperrealism, Painting

Colin Chillag
Colin Chillag
United States
March 9, 2015

Colin Chillag is an American painter, whose paintings mix hyperrealism with abstraction. Highly-detailed areas move into unfinished passages that expose the work’s preliminary studies – underpaintings, scribbles, and sketches, drips, color palettes, notations.

Born in 1971, Colin received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1993. Thus, Chillag only half-follows in the footsteps of older greats working in the hyperrealist genre, such as Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle, who rendered the visible world in acute detail and monumental scale. Instead, Chillag embraces failure. Given the pointlessness of fully finishing something already photographed—and therefore already represented with more detail than possible by the human hand – Chillag never fully finishes a painting and instead leaves his daily thinking apparent to his viewers.

The final painting captures an evolution rather than a moment, as Chillag leaves his painting process open for the viewer to explore. Even as Chillag uses painting to explore the world around him, part of his aim is to deconstruct his interpretation of the visible. His hyperrealism’s intense finish dissolves into sketches, underpaintings, and notes-to-self. Meditative in effect, these passages show the tracks left by Chillag’s brain, drawing connections between things and things-to-do, wandering through varied creative spaces. Chillag refuses to adhere to any pretense of painting as a window onto another scene or a fixed moment in time. Instead, he allows viewers a glimpse of his consciousness. At some points complete, and at times appearing to be in process, Chillag constructs these pieces like passing memories, where certain details remain but others fleeting.

Chillag’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions in Miami and Los Angeles as well as numerous group shows. He is featured in the permanent collection of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Arizona State University Art Museum.

Colin Chillag lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2014Colin ChillagPhoenix Art MuseumSolo
2014State of the ArtCrystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, ARGroup
2013Portraits101 EXHIBIT, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013No Ordinary PlaceUniversity of Arizona Art Museum, Tucson, AZGroup
2013Chaos TheoryLegend City Studio, Phoenix, AZGroup
2012The Boneyard ProjectTucson Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZGroup
2012Group Show101 EXHIBIT, Miami, FLAGroup
2011Colin ChillagPravus Gallery, Phoenix, AZSolo
2011Work from the permanent collectionArizona State University Museum of Art, Tempe, AZGroup
2010Colin Chillag5&6 Art Space, Scottsdale, AZSolo
2009Colin ChillagPravus Gallery, Phoenix, AZSolo
2009Big Secret CacheAngstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Colin ChillagAngstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007Colin ChillagAngstrom Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007Group ShowG host Gallery, Phoenix, AZGroup
2006Colin ChillagModified Arts, Phoenix, AZSolo
2006Drawing ConclusionsChapman University Museum of Art, Orange, CAGroup
2006Apocalypse SoonQED Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Colin ChillagStudio LODO, Phoenix, AZSolo
2004100 Artists See SatanCal State Fullerton Museum of Art, Fullerton, CAGroup
2003Southwest NETScottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZGroup
2002Nooks and CranniesArizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZGroup