Alexis de Chaunac (b. New York, NY, 1991) is a Mexican-French visual artist working between painting, drawing, collage and installation. He received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2014 and recently completed his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a recipient of the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship and the Fundación Jumex de Arte Contemporáneo grant. His works have been exhibited in galleries and museums including Sargent’s Daughters in New York (2019), Carrillo Gil Art Museum in Mexico City (2017) and Pinacoteca Diego Rivera in Veracruz (2015). He has been featured and given interviews to publications such as Whitewall, Whitehot Magazine and Artsy’s Editorial. He currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Alexis de Chaunac approaches his work like an archeologist, uncovering layers of our collective experience. His body of work is the result of his personal connection to his Mexican and French heritage, as well as his interwoven cultural histories. De Chaunac recently found inspiration in the forms of Milagros — charm-like metal objects that can be used for healing purposes and as votive offerings. These magical objects, also referred to as ex-votos, were used to ward off disease, pain, and misfortune. De Chaunac’s works often confront the viewer with the immediacy of life-size organs – lungs, feet, eyes, hands, hearts – all laid out bare. The forms operate both individually and in communication with one another, creating a hieroglyphic lexicon waiting to be deciphered. Having lived in and through a pandemic, he feels that the depiction of the body’s internal forms takes on a new relevancy and vulnerability.
Image credit: Jordan A. Porter-Woodruff.
Image credit: Jonas Mueller-Ahlheim / Ex Votos (Milagros), 80 x 60 in, PVA and graphite on yupo paper, 2021