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Art & Life with Chaz Guest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chaz Guest.

Chaz, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
One and only Art professor that I had in college was Dr. Howard Fussiner in 1983. He showed me the way to the masters of painters. Paul Gaugin, Cazanne, Dali and Romare Bearden. I came across a GQ magazine with the drawing of a one Antonio Lopez, who was the greatest fashion illustrator. I was lit on fire to go try my life in the big apple in 1986. On graduating and retiring from life as a gymnast, I threw myself into the big city of Manhattan and enrolled myself into F.I.T. But after just only nine months, I quit and took a one-way ticket to Paris to work as an illustrator, and that took me to the atelier of Christian Lacroix. It was he that looked at my work and said, Chaz, You are a painter. I said Okay, and returned to N.Y.C. it starts here. I bought books and Museums each day, training myself, willing myself to push feelings into the canvas. Each day of my life at this point was about moving closer to making this life as I know it, as a painter. Meeting Basquiat, Warhol, haring, Schnabel, and Francesco Clemente really sealed the fact that if I trusted my inner feelings and learn to convey those feeling on canvas, that I’d be okay. Never having a plan B, forced me forward. After 30 years now, I’m very happy; however, the search continues… investigating continues, pushing continues. Picking up pieces in my world travels to Africa, Japan, Mexico Europe, feeds the inspiration completely.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Well, I always thought that paintings leave impressions in our consciousness. I have a big story to express to humanity. I paint what I love. I paint what has not been painted. Leaving it up to no one but myself. Like, if you saw a Buffalo right, but you have not seen a Buffalo from a boy growing up first in Niagara Falls, then in the inner city of Philadelphia, see it’s going to be a different take. I put my take on all that I create, My own voice, and I trust that and never asking what if it’s not liked, I don’t care. That’s freedom. I inject my culture into everything. It’s always very wonderful to tell ones story. I am so happy that I get to do that with brushes and paint… sometimes clay to sculpt. I want people to understand that we all have a story, that we all need love, happiness, understanding inclusion and respect. That’s why I painted the cotton series. I wanted people to understand that they were not Slaves.. they were enslaved people, and I painted dignity in them. Then there’s the Superhero series that I created. We all need superheroes, They all should not be white right? I’d love a generation of other than white, to be strong in their own imagination. I have created Buffalo Warrior. Let’s share our stories. The Universe has blessed me in divine favor to bring this to you. What you should know about my artwork is where to see it. Patrick Painter Gallery. 🙂  Let them speak to you.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
One of the challenges is to figure out just how to make a living first. I recall the early days in NYC. I would sell a painting and then from some of the funds, I’d have posters printed and sell them to frame shops and Jazz clubs. It is how my son Zuhri and I survived in Soho. They were like 25 dollars. Twenty-five times 500 is survival funds… hahaha. Then how to break into the Art world properly, to find a dealer that will hone your career. Museums, fairs, collectors, and auctions. It is all a matrix and a grand challenge.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?

Each time a painting is sold, it seems that it’s time to do more. So it frees my energy to then concentrate on the next gift I get to express to you. It excites me every time. To have people stand in front of a canvas and feel something, to take something away, is a great form of support.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brian Bowen Smith, Matthew Jordan Smith

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