Skyler Chen

How far I would have to go to become myself

Skyler Chen

27.06.2024 | 23.08.2024

The Artist

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Skyler Chen

Skyler Chen was born in 1982 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. He graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Fine Arts in 2006. Currently, he lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Chen’s work seamlessly blends classicism and modernity, creating intimate and occasionally provocative scenes that juxtapose contemporary desires with a classical aesthetic.

Struggling with undiagnosed dyslexia, Chen turned to painting as a means of communication. His art explores his queer Asian identity and conveys the experience of being a queer person in a conservative culture.

Drawing from his personal life experiences, Chen incorporates a blend of languages and cultures in his work, from traditional Taiwanese iconography to American commercial imagery. His paintings focus on details that highlight the symbolic power of objects and memories. In Chen’s compositions, symbolic elements such as erotic magazines, dumplings, fresh fruit, and birds find their place on the canvas. Through his art, he finds healing, embracing his queerness while navigating the challenges of dyslexia. Painting serves as his medium of communication, enabling deeper connections with himself and others.

Earthy tones, warm shades, isolated characters, and allegorical objects inhabit Chen’s work, providing a visual representation of the human experience. His works feature enigmatic figures in familiar settings, projecting their queerness onto the objects around them. The detached and static figures in Chen's paintings are specific to our time, yet they can also be perceived as timeless, conveying one of the greatest contemporary feelings: aloneness.

Studio Portrait 2024