Across the Diamond
In this painting, two indeterminate red zones flank a Brooklyn National League pitcher from 1911. The artist employs painterly brushwork to exaggerate the bagginess of the player's uniform, as well as the tentative nature of his pose. The artist approaches painting as a medium of constant transformation and transition. Chan's palette, drawing influence from post-impressionism, pairs muted tones with gesture-like applications of symbolic bright colors.
This work is part of a series by the artist that draws its subject matter from early baseball cards. The poses of the baseball players are meditations, representations completely outside any relevance to the game or even team sports in general. These works, exploring figure painting and the possibilities of composition, frequently depict baseball players bent over; when the sportsmen are catching ground balls, the objects are near the bottom of the frame. Chan draws comparison between the effort in the players' postures and other physical aspects of painting and representation. In particular, the works explore the role of the hand in the circulation of images: from the original baseball cards, to the players’ gestures, to the painter’s hand which gently directs the viewers' attention.
Jamie Chan’s paintings depict mundane marginalia like early baseball cards as well as excerpts of Dutch renaissance paintings. The artist’s palette draws from post-impressionist works, pairing muted tones with gesture-like applications of symbolic color. Chan approaches painting as a medium of constant transformation and transition—frequently exploring the hand’s role in the creation, circulation and acquisition of images.
Jamie Chan, born in 1984, received an MFA in painting from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson in 2013. The artist received a BFA from UCLA in Los Angeles, California in 2006.
Exhibitions showing Chan’s work have taken place at: Tif Sigfrids Gallery, in both Athens, Georgia and New York City; Ceysson et Bénétière in New York City; in an installation by Nancy Shaver at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California; and in various project spaces across New York City and Los Angeles, California.
In 2018, Chan coauthored a 4Columns review regarding an exhibition of paintings shown inside a mall in Chinatown in New York City. The artist’s writing has also appeared in the collection This Long Century.