Oscar Chavez

My practice engages with contemporary languages and practices in which the body is consumed. Due to the rise of the Internet and its celebrity inducing qualities, each person online can become a commodity. Through sponsorships, brand collaborations, and the terms & conditions of many social media sites, we have effectively become personal economies. By utilizing my own form, I explore a self-autonomy that exists inside of this world while also critiquing it. My body is an economy in which I make all of the rules. Through paintings, performance, and wearable works, the body becomes a space for experiences ranging from adornment to protest, all while being duplicated infinitely online.

The connection between painting and performance in my practice has always been tethered by the presence of my body. Whether heavily adorned or stripped nude, the site of my body is ripe with political turmoil and social subversion. The performative action of placing my body in domestic spaces and layering it with theory or text that speak directly to the audience has been my chosen exploration through painting. Rather than make a sterile image to be hung on the walls of neutral space, my body confronts you and engages you into a conversation that must be heard. As a part of this residency I plan to explore the body in nature and the implications that come with that through painting. Rather than allowing the body to exist in its domestic space, I am interested in exploring history and politics of the body in public and how that may steer the conversations being had in my work. I plan to make two large scale paintings on unstretched canvas in the studio space. 

Oscar Chavez is an artist currently working in Chicago with absolutely no affiliation to SAIC. He makes paintings and performances and has never lived in a world without the Internet.