Andrew Chalfen


Artist's Statement

The ripples, radiance, fractal blooms, and clustered shapes of Andrew Chalfenʼs drawings and acrylic paintings reference aerial views, fly-over zones, cartography, architectural renderings, urban-like densities, and other natural and man-made patterns, many spilling out over edges, suggesting unseen continuations. His process mirrors that his songwriting and music arranging, involving the repetition of a small selection of formal elements, subtle variation, the timbre of color palate, rhythm, and randomization strategies.

Early works reflected a sheer joy in precise, dense pattern-making. The effect of not knowing what to focus on first, becoming overwhelmed and subsequently absorbed in the details, is akin to the experience of mediation or a kind of visual acupuncture. More recent works, including painted sculptures, explore themes of nostalgia, climate change, play, allusions to scientific data and musical expression and notation, and deconstructions reflective of recent social and psychic instability in the world.

Though the autodidact Chalfen has always been involved in artistic endeavors, specifically music, drawings first began appearing in earnest in 2008 after the artist had finger surgery due to a non-cancerous bone-eating tumor. Unable to employ his guitar-fretting left hand for months, he found that making intricate drawings with his right was in a way meditative and healing and fulfilled much of his ever-present need to be creative, to have the forward momentum of making art. From that point onward, making art became a welcome creative parallel to a long life of writing and playing music, one pursuit intimately informing the other.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2015
Selected Drawings, Aksum Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

Two-Person
2014
Paintings and Drawings: Andrew Chalfen & Nicole Donnelly, Seeds Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Group
2016
Natural, James Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Publications

Chalfen, Andrew Look Up Coloring Book, Thunder Bay Press, 2017 (a collection of 84 pen and ink drawings)

Professional Experience

Album Cover Design
• I Think Like Midnight “This Land Is Your Mind”, 2018
• I Think Like Midnight “Kompromat” Wilber Records, 2018
• I Think Like Midnight “Warm Seclusion Structure" Quadrapus Records, 2014
• The Trolleyvox “Your Secret Safe/Luzerne” Transit of Venus Records, 2008
• The Trolleyvox “Present the Karaoke Meltdowns” Transit of Venus Records, 2006
• The Trolleyvox “Leap of Folly” Groove Disques Records, 2002
• The Trolleyvox “Ephemera for the Future” Groove Disques Records, 1999

Related musical life
I Think Like Midnight

Collections

Private collections in
Philadelphia, PA
Newtown, PA
New Haven, CT
Lexington, MA
Denver, CO

Education

Continuing Education
2015
Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA
Course in Oil Painting

2003
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Course in Graphic Art and Digital Design

2001-2002
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
3 courses in Graphic Art and Digital Design