albertz benda opens the first New York solo show of the Brooklyn-based artist Chloe Chiasson

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albertz benda opens the first New York solo show of the Brooklyn-based artist Chloe Chiasson
Chloe Chiasson: Fast Hearts and Slow Towns. May 19, 2022 - June 25, 2022. albertz benda, NY. Photo: Thomas Mueller.

NEW YORK, NY.- albertz benda is presenting the first New York solo show of the Brooklyn-based artist Chloe Chiasson, on view from May 19 – June 25, 2022. Chiasson presents the largest body of her mixed media paintings to date, featuring monumental groupings of queer figures in domestic and social settings.

Chiasson’s work highlights queer life and visibility. Drawing upon a repressive history, the works in Fast Hearts and Slow Towns authentically represent queer narratives still unfolding around us today. Her large-scale worlds provide an intimate view into a radical history, a personal lifetime, and even just a single evening. These private spaces come into view in a monumental fashion with the biggest secrets occupying the most space: life-sized snapshots of missed moments in a photo booth, a pair of massive hands, fingernails bitten down, reaching out towards one another. Permeated by a coexisting sense of anxiety and comfort, these works are a testament to queer experience.

Finding harmony in opposition, Chiasson unifies ideals which we have been conditioned to see as conflicting. Her process combines painting and carpentry in defiance of traditional distinctions between fine art and craft. She masterfully collages together images from different periods, finding an unexpected resonance within these disparate moments: tattooed lesbians with cross earrings smoking cigarettes and drinking Shiner beer, rosaries hanging from their rearview mirrors parked on the sandy plane of a local beach.

Historically, gay bars were a place of safety and belonging as well as an escape from persecution. But, in the wide-open spaces of the South, these escapes could be anything from a back room to a back road—and they remain to hold the weight of the community on their shoulders today. In Chiasson’s work, we are convinced that southeast Texas’ version of the Stonewall Inn may very well be the shotgun side of an old pick-up truck. Intimately tied to their inhabitants, these scenes marry the grand and mundane as the ordinary is transformed and claimed as queer space. Spaces where you can look across the bar or room and know the collective heart of those around you, and what it took for them to get there.

In Fast Hearts and Slow Towns, Chiasson shines a light on radical love and acceptance, the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances, resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning that constitute queerness itself, and she does so with without a shred of forgiveness.

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