Joel Chalen’s work offers a vision of a romantic idealist torn between living in the fast-paced world of complex modernity where technology reigns against the slower strides of a more traditional, simplistic existence where our shared humanity prevails. His impression of the world combines his assimilation of tradition against the world’s increasing modernity.
Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the gateway to the Galapagos which offers a glimpse into the world’s uniqueness and biodiversity, the city stands as one of the world’s great trading posts. This coastal city offered him an opportunity to compare the warm simplicity of life’s traditional pleasures with the cold complexity of the urban jungle. To further pursue his place in the world, Joel immigrated to the USA to pursue his work in computer science. To remain true to his roots, he continues with his passion in art to refine his existence. Through his observations of the world, Joel finds his truth via his art which has been shown in several collective exhibitions in both Ecuador and the United States.
As a child, I discovered my creativity by making figures with mud, wood and whatever else I could find. Later I picked up drawing, but my focus remained on creating monochromatic images focused on form, function, and style. At the age of 28, upon discovering oil paint, I fell in love with color.
One day I discovered Eduardo Kingman, one of the great Ecuadorian artists. I treasured his stylized forms, vibrant colors and the intricacy of even the smallest detail. But more importantly, by creating powerful images of the country’s indigenous people, he told the story about the human condition. He was not only a skilled painter, but an outspoken man advocating for social justice. I appreciated his images, but the meaning of his work spoke to my soul as nothing else had.
Art for me has been a personal pursuit of appreciating style and telling my story. Having never formally studied the craft, my technical skills have improved through a repeated process of refinement, experimentation, and reflection. My story continues…
Fort Lauderdale, Florida