Chad Hasegawa as curated by DK Johnston

“It was during his residency at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco that our abstract show was conceived, beginning with Love My Lovelies and carrying thru to works inspired by locations from Hasegawa’s native Hawaii the art is transformative and sublime.”
DK Johnston, curator

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Known for his gestural imagery of bears and heroes, painter Chad Hasegawa elevates the medium of house paint into the fine art realm with his beautiful works of fine art. Taking influence from graffiti and mural art, the San Francisco-based artist creates his portraits and figures with a heavy hand akin to the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s. Completely self-taught, Hasegawa has developed a multi-layered style of mixing tones and shades that is enigmatic on canvas as it is on the street.

Hasegawa first made waves in the street art world with his series of majestic bears, painted with chunky brick-like marks and drips that intertwine to make dimensional tonality. Leaving a career in advertising, Hasegawa focused on creating murals in San Francisco. Like the work of Claude Monet, his mark making is aggressive and abstract up close, but softer and unified when viewed from afar. Using bucket paint and a flat brush, he is able to create an abstract style that is as fitting in the street art realm as it is amongst the work of his favorite Ab Ex artists like Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell.

The artists who have influenced and shaped Hasegawa’s trajectory became the focus of his series painted while the artist in residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The artists depicted, such as Keith Haring and Joan Mitchell, had such an integral influence on Hasegawa, that he has painted their faces as if they were self portraits. His unique mix of oversized brushes and latex paint has made Hasegawa an artist to watch.

Profile by Lori Zimmer (Art Nerd NY)