The TAX Collection Curation Creation Collabroation

Taylor Chapin | Artist Spotlight

“I’m captivated by the magic in the mundane and am driven by a keen sense of observation and attention to atmosphere.

I work in oil and acrylic. My paintings emphasize pattern, light, reflection, and repetition. Kitsch, consumerism, euphemisms and voyeuristic separation are examined to suggest the inherent comedy, and absurdity, of daily life. I paint routine moments and objects to enhance the elusive beauty in everyday existence.”


How would you describe your work?

My work is rooted in exploring the simple actions and objects of my daily life. The mundane is exaggerated and re-examined through humor, light, pattern, and reflection. I poke fun at consumer culture through repurposing branding. Concurrently, I like to take a more subtle approach in my figurative work by portraying people in their environment through mood and color.

What’s your preferred medium to express yourself and your work? How did you come into working that way?

I am primarily a painter, and I work in both oil and acrylic. My affinity for painting grew out of a love of color and a love of drawing representationally. The accessibility to drawing piqued my interest in art. As my practice expanded, I found painting to be more satisfying than drawing. I have grown more into painting because I prefer its immediacy and physicality. I like to jump right into big projects, and painting allows me to do this.


What triggers your imagination or inspiration?

I love everything tacky and kitsch. The more tacky, the better. I am inspired by Las Vegas, themed hotels, kitsch objects, cult classics, advertising, and product placement. I often roam the grocery stores looking at the brands and how they’re being portrayed. On the other hand, I am also inspired by the subtle in-between moments in life that can be captured and highlighted through paint.

What are some of Instagram accounts that you particularly enjoy or get inspiration from?

I love @thetaxcollection because of the range of work they represent and the consistency of quality artists they post. I am also grateful to them as I learned about Unique Board and this project through The Tax Collection’s profile. I also like the style of posts of @love.watts. A few of artists whose accounts I am obsessed with include @missannavaldez, @angeladeane, and @hellohappyplants. I’m also a big fan of cat Instagrams, particularly @junotheangrycat.

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What was your dream growing up?

When I was little I wanted to be a famous calendar maker. I would dress up my dog up and take pictures of him in different themed outfits that corresponded to different months. I would print out DIY calendars and give them to my family at Christmas. I dreamt that one day my calendars would sell at Barnes & Noble. Since then, I have become partial to cats, and I prefer painting to photography.

What has become most important to you or your work at this moment in your life?

Taking a leap away from strict representation and creating my own painting language and unique style is extremely important in my practice right now. I still work from life and from photographs; however, my style has become a lot more imaginative. My content and use of paint has become much more creative and expressive.


Is there any specific moments or memory in your life that pushed you definitely towards the arts or pursuing your creative ambitions?

As silly as this sounds, the most pivotal moment was when I learned about art school in my early 20s. Prior to this, I didn’t know majoring in art was even a possibility, let alone being able to attend an entire university exclusively devoted to teaching art. At this point, I transferred schools and left behind my unfulfilling liberal arts education to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in painting.

What does your work mean to you?

My work means almost everything to me. I place a lot of my self-value on what I create. How I’m feeling about myself directly stems from how productive I’m being, how I feel about what I’m making, and whether I’m executing my ideas effectively. My work is the way I can satisfy my fascination with kitsch, consumerism, euphemisms and voyeuristic separation to examine the inherent comedy, and absurdity, of daily life.

What is your definition of art?

I think the definition of art is extremely fluid. I like to think of art as a different way of thinking. Art is looking inside and outside of the box at the same time to transform something ordinary into something extraordinary.

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How do you see your work playing into and responding to the current conversations happening in art and culturing?

We live in an age of over-exposure. We are endlessly inundated with images and content. I think my work highlights this while also acting against it. My paintings accentuate this feeling of overwhelm in our modern world as well as critiquing the effectiveness of branding and advertising. Adversely, the act of looking at a painting and creating a painting causes time and attention to slow down in a way we are no longer used to and can come as a nice relief.

Are there any upcoming projects that we should know about?

I am having my first solo show next year at a gallery in San Diego, CA. The show will be at Hill Street Country Club in June of 2019. I am also currently exhibiting with GIFC, a traveling group show of works on paper that does pop-ups both nationally and internationally. The next show is in Atlanta on October 25th, 2018.

Follow Taylor on Instagram