A Life Well Lived 2011 acrylic on canvas 60"X70"
It seems to me that Collin in Chillag is 2 or 3 (possibly even four) different artists. Not literally mind you. I'm not suggesting that a group of people are conspiring to convince us that there is one artist responsible for all their work. I'm suggesting more of a Sybil like multiple-personality thing. It makes it difficult to say anything about the artist's work because I'm not sure what the common denominators to all of it are. But the work that was recently featured in New American Paintings (#96) is a series of portraits executed in the manner of extremely detailed "paint by numbers". Only they're left half finished and he uses parts of the painting as the palette as well. It comes off with tremendous effect not least because of the faces he chooses. Both the subject and the technique suggest a kind of horrific banality at the dark heart of middle class America. But as I suggested there are other sides to the artist; odd collages and cryptic diagrams with references to scientific theories and cartoon animals. I'll have to follow up on this other side of the artist one of these days. In the mean time go check out his website colinchillag.com and if anyone can come up with a unified Chillag theory, let me know.