Chester Arnold embraces the craft of painting, but eschews traditional, romantic portrayals of the natural environment. Exploring the natural world and the human events that inhabit it, the artist constructs narratives that celebrate and question our presence in the world placing the viewer at a remove, above and beyond the unfolding narratives. The romantic beauty of natural landscapes, in part informed by historic master Caspar David Friedrich, is subverted by Arnold’s preoccupation with the detritus of human accumulation.
Chester Arnold’s earned his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1987. His paintings have been exhibited extensively in the United States and has been critically reviewed in Artforum, Artweek, Art + Conversation, and the San Francisco Chronicle. His work is included in public collections of many institutions, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, and the San Jose Museum of Art. Arnold was also awarded a Eureka Fellowship by San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA. He lives and works in Sonoma, California.
THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
"My paintings are part of a visual dialogue running the length and breadth of human history. The search for excellence in this Art and Craft has led me to explore the natural world and the human events that inhabit it, constructing narratives that celebrate and question our presence in the world. Although representational, I seek a way of painting that is richly traditional, yet radically and surprisingly new. I attempt to articulate more than the surfaces and dimensions of reality, summoning the wordless meanings and sensations that only visual art can."