Author: CHEN FEI 陈飞
Size: Old Boy D40cm；Portait120×75cm；Coolness 30×20cm；Night Wanderer40×22.5×22.5cm
Signed and dated: Painted in 2007,2011 and made in 2012
Final Price: RMB 1,500,000
2008 Looking For Me / Plate / Timezone8
2009 One-Track Mind Chenfei/ Plate 1 / Timezone8
2011 Stranger: Chenfei / Plate 13 / China Today Art Museum Publishing House Limited Company
Old Boy titled and signed in Chinese, dated 2011(on the reverse)
Portait titled and signed in Chinese, dated 2007(on the reverse)
Coolness titled and signed in Chinese, dated 2011(on the reverse)
Night Wanderer signed in Chinese, dated 2012
Edition：4/10 (Night Wanderer)
2008 Looking For Me, Shanghai Minsheng Contemporary Art Center, Shanghai
2009 One-Track Mind Chenfei, Star Gallery, Beijing
2011 Stranger: Chenfei Solo Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing
Chen Fei is an artist who is good at using video language in the field of Chinese contemporary art. Graduating from Beijing Film Academy, he transplants the unique narrative and visual language of film into his painting creation. His painting process is similar to film shooting: He writes scripts, makes subshots, and the final image is often carefully designed and has unexpected plots. Chen borrows the intuition, romance and sensory stimulation from film, and pursues simplicity and directness in aesthetics: "There must be something crappy in a painting, so that others will remember it and think about it all the time.” Chen’s creation is usually about his daily life and generally has a gorgeous and complicated graphic decoration style. In his works, he expresses his profound feelings about life and desire with humorous cartoonish language. This group of works is a rare collection of Chen’s self-portraits, girlfriend portraits, pet portraits and hand-painted sculptures. As a whole it can be regarded as a sincere commemoration of the artist’s unforgettable youth; separately, each work is also related to the three most classic themes in his creation.
In his works before 2015, the main subject is undoubtedly his girlfriend. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005, Chen moved to live near the Central Academy of Fine Arts and officially began his painting career. This "Portrait" of his girlfriend made in 2007 established a clear personal style in terms of schema, modeling and brushwork. The artist places the portrait of his girlfriend, who looks back at viewers with a smile, in an egg-shaped center. Instead of using light and shade to make the painting look three-dimensional, Chen uses a method similar to the "Gongbi coloring" in Chinese painting. The outline is firstly drawn with smooth black lines, and then filled with acrylic. The patterns on woolen fabric hats and t-shirts and every black hair are meticulously depicted. This ultimate pursuit of precision and graphic effects has continued to Chen’s later works.
Taking the painting of the same name made in 2008 as a prototype, the hand-painted sculpture "Night Wanderer" 2011 marked the formal establishment of Chen’s personal artistic style. In this sculpture, the night element in the painting is removed but the luxuriant plants and the basic characteristics of the heroine are retained. Standing alone among the colorful mushrooms, holding a scythe in hand, she may be a tourist in the dark night or a goddess of death who has ultimate power over the lives of others. Chen uses the image of his girlfriend to portray this mysterious woman in the dark forest. By placing her in different environments, Chen gives her different identities and story backgrounds.
After completing "Night Wanderer", Chen created a series of works related to the forest at night, such as the "Coolness"-Series with his pet dog "Xiongxiong" as the theme. In this “Coolness” made in 2011, a puppy plays alone on the grass at night, with stars flickering in the distance. What the artist captures is the moment when the puppy defecates. Regardless of the "vulgarity" and directness of this scene, Chen uses exquisite brushwork and elegant colors to portray it. This huge contrast unexpectedly makes the picture lively and funny.
In the artist’s self-portraits, which have always been an important form of self-expression for him, Chen likes to show different aspects of his life and his inner world in a dramatic way of film, and usually reshape his life into surrealistic scenes through narrative pictures, making his self-portraits full of metaphors and symbolism. In "Old Boy" created in 2011, the nude artist is in a closed circular space. The deep blue background and the flowers on his arms render a strong atmosphere of life and death, and the pair of sharp horns on the head seems to insinuate the hidden, dark and absurd side of human nature in a ridiculous way.