In his latest body of work, Dominic Chambers explores the relationship between reality and fantasy by painting black figures, relaxed and still, in imagined landscapes, full of vivid primary colours.
The artist’s life-sized oil paintings set an innately familiar perspective while the multilayered surfaces draw us into a surreal narrative. Chambers uses a sophisticated palette, patches of light and streaks of shadows to create a harmonising layer that shields his subjects as they enjoy their peaceful world.
Entitled All This Life in Us, the series will go on show at New York’s Anna Zorina Gallery this September and is described as having “magical realism, presenting black figures as they delve into literature and contemplation within imagined landscapes”. The Gallery adds: “In these subtle, leisurely moments, the subject’s visionary power is celebrated, as Chambers negates pervasive and toxic clichés to uplift Black talent, creativity, and mysticism.”
“In his dreamlike dimensions where the rational and magical coexist, the subjects are most alive in their stillness, repose and meditation,” says the Gallery. “They are not performing for the viewer and often neglect the gaze. Completely unbothered and disinterested in any judgement they celebrate their own agency, one that embraces the ability to bask in vicarious, otherworldly experiences. With all this life, how could the inhabitants of these works be seen as anything but beautiful, virtuous, curious and extraordinary?”
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dominic Chambers is now based in New Haven, CT. He received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2016 and is a 2019 MFA graduate from the Yale University School of Art. His latest series, All This Life in Us, will go on show at the Anna Zorina Gallery in New York from 3 September 2020.
Chi Chi in Red, 2020 © Dominic Chambers
Blue Park Lovers, 2020 oil on canvas © Dominic Chambers