ARTIST:

Amir Chasson

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Amir Chasson
Special Purpose Pictoral Graph, 2009
Oil, pencil and household paint
52 x 82 x 2cm

Amir Chasson’s paintings seem to juxtapose two different ways of understanding the world: the statistic, represented in graph form, and the individual, a close-up portrait. At first look, this combination – man against number – might stand for a straightforward social critique, or a restaging of an age-old conflict in painting itself (the figurative against the abstract). Yet it’s the act of painterly transcription, and particularly Chasson’s soft, almost tender blurring of the transitions in a human face, that complicates such an easy reading.

Amir Chasson
Filled Surface, 2010
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
61 x 91 x 2cm

The eyes of his painted faces meet ours warily, or look away in response to scrutiny, recalling photographs taken quickly, perfunctorily – the workplace headshot, maybe, or police mugshot. Painting’s slowness transforms the image into something to be looked at, not merely a functional identifier for a laminated pass, and it does that for the graphs, too.

Amir Chasson
Hand Drawn Topo Map, 2010
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
61 x 91 x 2cm

Stripped of numerical data or titles and rendered in household paint, they become mute abstractions hovering in space. Painting levels the playing field, enabling lines of communication and sympathy to be drawn between the two: they become (as in a work like Mat is Helping Us) a kind of double portrait. Released from language – this person’s job, this graph’s meaning – Chasson’s works are celebrations of not knowing, small assertions of mystery and doubt.

Amir Chasson
Pie Chart 13, 2009
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
101 x 81 x 2cm

Amir Chasson
Green GT, 2010
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
101 x 81 x 2cm

Amir Chasson
Three Dimensional Topo Using Contor Lines, 2010
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
100 x 121 x 2cm

Amir Chasson
Mat Is helping Us, 2011
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
51 x 81 cm

Amir Chasson
No Other, 2011
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
51 x 81 cm

Amir Chasson
Duncan's Stimulus, 2011
Oil, pencil and household paint on canvas
51 x 81 cm

Text by Ben Street

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