Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles is currently presenting Beaut-esque, an exhibition of new paintings by Queens-based artist Yi Chen. The artist’s process begins by culling images from popular advertisements and fashion magazines and selecting distinctive facial characteristics from both human and mammalian figures. He then rearranges these physical features to create a hybridized race, disregarding color, age, gender and even species. These composite figures are then painted with varying degrees of detail, and set in a background or landscape of solid color fields.
The artist’s paintings reflect the heterogeneity and interconnectedness of global culture. As stated in the press release, Chen’s “concept of hybridization and mutation formulate a tense balance in his work, combining enticing beauty and repelling grotesqueries that result in magnetic paintings.”
Chen attended the Affiliated Art High School of Central Art Academy in Beijing before receiving his B.F.A. from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2000. He then completed his M.F.A. at Purchase College State University of New York in 2003. He has shown work at Marianne Boesky Gallery and Plum Blossoms Gallery in New York and will have a solo show later this year at Gallery Beijing Space in Beijing.