Visual artist born in Tripoli, Lebanon 1978
There he grew up until his tenth, then he moved to Curacao, where he finished primary school and received his first lessons in painting and art in 1990.
Displacement : That seems to be the best term to describe how I feel when putting words to my work. My work, that’s me – what I am, what I feel, what I see.
The world is strange to me: I have no identity, nor can I identify myself. A dust that doesn’t land anywhere, floating without gravity – that is how I see myself sometimes.
To be clear: I was born in Lebanon, moved to Curacao when I was 10 years old, and then on to St Maarten and then to Amsterdam.
What, then, is my country? Who do I belong to?
These are questions that I am not able to answer. When I went to Curacao, without knowing the language, without being able to communicate, it wasn’t strange to look for other forms to express myself.
It wasn’t long before I found my way to painting, expressing myself by making things, saying these things without words.
Chahal refers to this as an important stage of his life for his contemporary art. He took lessons from Luigi Pinedo, who taught him everything about oil painting. Shortly here after, Chahal found his way to Raed Selman, under whose influence he starts more free painting, acrylic and abstract art. This is followed by studying with Ria Houwen. This is when he develops his own signature. He wants to renew and since artistic and technical innovations go hand in hand, this also happened.
Since this period, color became an important character in Chahal’s work. He makes abstract work that ranges from seemingly simple, but on closer inspection complicated accumulated monochromes, to bright colorful canvases in which the paint in various techniques is applied so that a nearly three-dimensional artwork is created, demonstrating that artistic and technical innovation go hand in hand.
Apart from paintings, Chahal also brings forth abstract sculptures, and photography.
Chahal was not influenced only by his teachers, but also by other painters, for example Mark Rothko and Joan Miro. Which indeed can be seen in his own work as well. Just like Rothko and Miro, Chahal’s masters the art of omission. The subject becomes more free and the sense abstraction, more visible. The development continues, Chahal: ‘I’m not at all restricted anymore by elements as the size of the cloth or the paint or the material I’m using. I’m in the painting: that is my universe and that universe is unbounded.’
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