By Rebecca Pikus
Philippe Chambon looks very much like the French Expressionist painter that he is — with his boyish good lucks, steady, intense gaze, & perfect goatee! He was born in Lyon, France to a young couple that had an appreciation for all things artistic and was exposed to the work of many of the great artists of Western Europe. Vacations in Italy and Spain allowed him to experience the wide range of subject and object in painting, sculpture and architecture, from primitive cave paintings to modern masterpieces.
Philippe’s formal artistic training began at the age of 6, when he was singled out for exceptional aptitude. He quickly oriented himself towards the modern styles, which were well-represented in the museums and private collections of his native Lyon. At 7 years old, the City selected Philippe’s gouache on paper to be shown in a special exhibit of children’s art. His urban landscape depiction of Lyon’s Festival of Lights drew much attention from attendees, and further fueled his passion for colors and modern composition. As a child, Philippe could always be found in a little corner of his room that he had christened his “artist’s studio”, well-stocked with gouache, watercolors, colored pencils and stacks of paper that he could use to express himself in unexpected ways.
His emerging style was greatly influenced by his discovery of modern masters such as Kandinsky, Malevich and Delaunay. Even today, he remains fascinated by the life stories behind these artists and their work. After arriving in the United States in 1988, Chambon continued to develop his visual language with further inspiration drawn from the works of American artists such as Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Discovering the Synchronist Movement of the early 1900’s finally brought his style into focus. The American Abstract Expressionists gave him the strength and the vision to forge a unique, distinctive abstract vocabulary and an unmistakable style.
Between 1996 and 1997, Philippe deepened his studies of Abstract Expressionism, refining and broadening his style. It was during this period that Linearism began to dominate his work. He continued to paint until 2001, when he decided to depart into three-dimensional work. His sculpted and carved ceramic art pieces can be found in collections all over the world, including a series of spectacular red teapots that were purchased by the First Lady of Malaysia for display in the Palace. This three-dimensional work inspired Chambon to create a new form of expressionism that eventually found its way, once again, into his current series of canvases. “The Dreams of the White Tiger” capture a vivid perspective and depth that is totally unexpected in abstract painting. His complex use of white to draw the viewer into the imagery is an instantly identifiable characteristic of the series. His latest body of work, “White Reflections”, extends the Spatial Linearism theme established by the “Dreams” in a vivid dialog of complex, interwoven imagery.
Some of Philippe’s many recent Exhibitions & Awards are: Palm Springs International Airport Gallery; Rogers & Rogers Gallery, Alabama; Saatchi Gallery, London; Gallery 446, Palm Springs, Ca; Palm Springs Art Museum — Winner of Jack Farley Award in 2012; ACE 2013; Hellada Gallery, Ca; La Quinta Arts Festival – Winner/Award for Best Artist, Painting; Gallery 825, Los Angeles; Desert Arts Festival, Palm Springs; and currently at Archangel Gallery in Palm Springs.
“Painting for me begins with the blank canvas, and an open question. Nothing is planned or arranged beforehand; the inspiration must come from within as I remain open to the answers that emerge from the paint itself….My ideas, thoughts, and emotions become colors and shapes as I move across the canvas.
”I am forever grateful to the great pioneering creators that have gone before me. Their work freed the artist from the object, opening the door to a daring and exciting world of creative expression.”
Philippe Chambon’s art can be seen at Archangel Gallery, 1103 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, Ca. 92262 – Tel. (760) 320-4795; Philippe can be contacted at (760) 861-6409, or firstname.lastname@example.org, & his Website: www.studiochambon.com