Elian /   Elian Chali

Argentina 1988

Street Art


Elian Chali
April 6, 2013

Like many other positive things, art can be therapeutic and have healing properties. Coming from Argentina, Elian Chali is a contemporary artist who, due to dyslexia, always had problems when it came to writing. However, all those problems seem to go away when he is holding a can of spray in his hands and painting on the walls around the world. Characterized by the close dialogue with the environment in which they are created, Elian’s works are composed through basic geometry and abstraction, and influenced by architecture, climate, and the current socio-political situations. His favorite theme is the city. Through his work, the artist seeks to open a discussion that goes from the social problems to the poetry of the habitat in which he creates.

Elian - The Influence of Gray on a Bright Color, 2016 (Left) - Estudio Sobre el Balance, 2016 (Right), new, home, contact, news, july
Elian – The Influence of Gray on a Bright Color, 2016 (Left) / Estudio Sobre el Balance, 2016 (Right)

A Master of Wall Painting

Always interested in the environment and the surroundings in which he paints, Elian has been particularly interested in perspective in 2016. For his piece in the historical neighborhood of Barracas, Buenos Aires, he highlighted the original structure of the building with the intention of proving that the city functions as a dynamic body and suffers the evolution of adaptations every day. A piece created in Ostend, Belgium, titled Exercise Of Anamorphosis #2, is a continuation of his explorations of perspective. This time, he painted on a two-sided building, located on the corner and in front of the playground and a square. Based on generating the effect of image construction by finding the exact point of view from which the piece should be observed, this has been the second time that Elian exercised the technique of anamorphosis. As always, the composition is made of primary colors and geometric elements. What’s interesting about this piece and the applied technique is that with each new angle of observation comes the natural deformation of both perspective and methodology of the site.

In 2016, his street art has been particularly oriented on explorations of perspective

Elian - Exercise Of Anamorphosis #2, 2016, mural in Ostende, Belgium, new
Elian – Exercise Of Anamorphosis #2, 2016, mural in Ostende, Belgium

Beginnings and Inspirations

Always working with a sketch in hand, Elian’s art has evolved from 3D graffiti to flat images. He studied graphic design but doesn’t have a particular affection towards “institutions”. When he started painting in the streets, he was fifteen and drawn to the field by many of his friends that were also working on the streets. As mentioned above, being dyslexic always meant having troubles with writing – with spray cans, he finally found the way to truly express himself without any problems. Everyone in his family was supportive of his decision to make art, and his mother even bought his first can of spray. His aesthetics are inspired by the Pop-Art, minimalism, Russian constructivism, and neoplasticism. Speaking of artists that are inspirational to him, El Tono, Jaz, and Momo stand out among those who paint in the public spaces. On the other side, he also enjoys the work of Pablo Siquier, Piet Mondrian and Sol LeWitt. In May 2016, Elian published Hábitat, a conceptual book where he discusses the city as socio-cultural phenomenon, pretending to understand the environment in which the humans live. Aside from Prologue written by the renowned american photographer and anthropologist Martha Cooper, this masterpiece also contains 143 images taken around the world and 3 essays.

He is represented by Adda Gallery.

Elian lives and works in Córdoba, Argentina.

Featured image: Elian working on a mural, photo credits Flavia Fiengo
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015FallasMontana Gallery Barcelona, SpainGroup
2015Entre MurosMya Gallery London, UKGroup
2015Cruzar La LineaICBC Foundation, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2014PrismaDinamica Galeria Buenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2014Materia PrimaProduct 81 Gallery Miami, USAGroup
2014Friends & Family II Collective Show - Fordistas Residence Close UpProduct 81 Gallery Miami, USAGroup
2013Pop Up Lo DesconocidoBuenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2013ChatarraBuen Pastor Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2012NumerosKosovo Gallery Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2012DesarraigoUn Globo Rojo Gallery, Cordoba, ArgentinaSolo
2012ObjetoHollywood In Cambodia, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaSolo
2011Wood ByeFuencarral Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2011Elegia OscilanteC.C.E.C Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2010Verso BlancoNMAM Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2010Avalados VandalosGenaro Perez Museum Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2010AFUERA! international expo of public spaceC.C.E.C Cordoba, ArgentinaGroup
2010Sangre GrisFuencarral, Cordoba, ArgentinaSolo