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CHEN FEI

ARTIST TO WATCH

Chen Fei’s narrative paintings are fantasized, often perverted constructs, in which elements from his personal life are transposed into surrealistic or hyperrealistic pastiches. While he belongs to the post-1980 generation of Chinese artists raised under the one-child policy, whose overall aesthetics were influenced by mainstream culture (notably manga and anime), Chen Fei is typically concerned with the self rather than with grand history. A remarkably sharp sense of black humor informs his vibrant, ego-centered visions. Almost systematically exhibiting his own figure in his work, he satirically diverts the age-old tradition of self-portraiture to revisit Eastern and Western art-historical canons. The highly graphic quality of his lively compositions, which he envisions as film stills, playfully contrasts with the refinement of his meticulous and detail- oriented style. Further interested in how China’s rapid economic growth has impacted its now globalized culture, Chen Fei also questions his nation’s collective taste and societal evolution through his work.

Words by Gallery Perrotin

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