* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Jeff Chester is an artist based in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
Jeff explains his latest series, “The Curious Object” by saying, “My aim with the paintings in the exhibition is to pose questions concerning identity and contemporary portraiture. The compositions feature variations of a lone figure within a square format that one might typically see in a contemporary social media selfie. I have tried to walk a line between illustration and photorealist painting. Through this mixing of styles I am alluding to the role of storytelling in the creation of our identities and lived realities. I also refer to Italian Renaissance portraiture by using the time-honored motif of a woman in a landscape. This is to create a contrast between the function of these earlier paintings and the goals of contemporary portraiture. In the not too distant future, thanks to automation, artificial intelligence and technological integration with our bodies, we will find that our identities will be challenged in profound ways. The figures appearing in the work are based off of images of my wife. The repetition of the same face allows her to disappear into anonymity and become a stand in for the idea of a nonspecific person. At the same time it allows me a chance to state my own view that love and human connection is of paramount importance. Who we are is entangled fundamentally with our relationships to others.”