I’ve always been amused by banality and fascinated by the absurd underpinnings of reality. In my paintings, mundane moments are transmuted into illusive scenarios that convey a sense of playful and surreal exploration. Scenes like someone looking at a hallway floor, a picture of a friend in nature, and a midnight picnic are rendered with dense detail and pattern into fragmentary, collage-like tableaus. The figures in these paintings are represented as ghostly interlopers in virtual-like environments that pulse and reconfigure to examine their own structure and context. A concern with a place, sentient transaction, and visual digestion blanket my interest. The result are works that act as funky meditations on the curiosities, frustrations, and victories of everyday life, dreamt or lived, but all distinctly human.
Mike Chattem received his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2010 and has since been shown in various galleries and institutions across the country. Recent exhibitions of note include Everything But The Kitschen Sink at Lu Luz De Jesus in Los Angeles, Flat Files at Ortega Y Gasset in Brooklyn, NY, and Willing The Season, an online exhibition facilitated by Far x Wide to benefit The Campaign Against Hunger in NYC.