Geoffrey Chadsey

September 2002


In Geoffrey Chadsey’s meticulously rendered drawings, composed only by using purple and green watercolor pencil, the artist’s subject matter appears to be images of young men, perhaps friends, engaged in a closed narrative. The viewer is challenged by their banality. The painstaking detail of the line quality reveals what seem to be ordinary snapshot type compositions, but Chadsey has imbued the images with newfound significance. The details of the surroundings unveil a sense of familiarity. Chadsey’s skill elucidates rather than masks his personal concerns.

The drawings are derived from photographs downloaded from the web or from sources found in pop culture. The scenes usually depict young men uninhibited. There is a sense of mystery behind what we are seeing. For example, a corpulent man reclines on a tousled bed with magazines and beer bottles scattered across the room; the man’s head has been swapped with Juvenile’s (the rap star). His works become balancing acts of the beautiful and the ugly, the classical and the contemporary, the teen and middle age. The gestures and nuances tend toward jocular freedom and masculine introspection.

Chadsey received his MFA in photography and drawing from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. In 1999 he received the prestigious Fleishhacker Eureka Fellowship.

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