Meet Chase! Chase King, twenty-eight years old, lives and works in Woodstock, Georgia. He began painting and drawing at the age of sixteen shortly after losing his mother to a malignant brain tumor. As unfortunate as that was, the loss in many ways triggered a visual expression that continues to inform his work today. Chase’s young career as a contemporary artist is optimistic and promising. Since receiving his BFA in painting and drawing from Kennesaw State University, Chase’s work has been exhibited and collected throughout the United States and abroad. With all of the support from friends, family, and colleagues, Chase has become a determined contemporary artist whose career is certainly one to watch and collect.
Thanks, Chase for taking the time to share your story and your art space with us!
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: There’s a term that I came across recently, it’s a term called signic automatism. It’s a word that describes subconscious thinking. I’m using a paintbrush to describe that process. So when I start painting, I don’t have an end goal in mind. I just start making some marks and then I start finding patterns. From there I start using color to describe what I’m seeing. You know, I’m using my–I’ve trained myself to do this–but I kind of “turn off” a little bit and get locked in with the paintbrush and the canvas and just start making things that I’m seeing without really thinking about it.
Then I step back (I do this multiple times). This could take me a week or two. Eventually, I get to a point where I start developing something concrete.
I’m not really thinking about making something in particular until I get to a point where it’s coming out and I can’t prevent it from coming out anymore.
It’s more of a conversation with what’s coming out than me determining or dictating what it is.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
I like Reel Seafood as well. The seafood! I had the swordfish once and it was good. They had some of my artwork hanging up there for almost a year.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: My grandparents moved here–and I was raised by my grandparents–with my mom and my aunt here in ‘72. Bells Ferry was still a dirt road and all that. They watched this all pop up. I’ve been here my whole life. Since 1990.
When my grandparents moved here in ‘72, my aunt and my mom went to Etowah. My aunt was the second graduating class of Etowah, so they grew up around Bells Ferry Road in a neighborhood called Bentley Hills. That’s where I was raised. Then I moved to Eagle Watch in Towne Lake when my mom passed away. I continued to live with my grandparents until I moved out in 2011.
Yeah, so I’ve been here quite a long time!
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Woodstock?
A: Betsy Khuri. Betsy Oh Art. That’s her title online. She’s one of my students from my painting class right now, but she’s a ceramicist and she’s this really interesting, special person. I think she’s really good with her mind and her imagination, and she’s good at translating that into her work. She’s just a cool person to talk to.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I really want to go to the Pacific Northwest. I have never seen the Pacific Ocean, so I want to see that. But I mean, I have been abroad a little bit. If I could go anywhere though, I’d probably go to the Mediterranean. Like Greece and Crete. Just that kind of culture, an ancient culture that this country’s democracy and republic have kind of just developed out of. I want to see it firsthand.
Did you know that there’s evidence that what we know as the Greek sculptures–what we know as being these white marble things–were painted? Yeah, the eyes were painted but of course that doesn’t last, right? There were no photographs or documents, but there are pigments that you can find in the eyes especially. Amazing. It’s a lost piece of information.
I also want to go see a jungle. Somewhere like Borneo, Bali or Tahiti. That would be a really interesting place to go to just to kind of walk through Paul Gauguin footsteps a little. He was a painter who dropped everything and went to go live with their people. This is before it was even really colonized.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: Favorite movie is Oh Brother Where Art Thou. I just loved all the culture of that time and that period is so almost alien compared to what things are like now, but I loved it. I just thought it was cool. The film was great. There was this fuzzy fall-looking filter through the entire film that made everything look orange and brown. It was really cool.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Be genuine. Be honest. That’s what I would say. There’s nothing more rewarding than being who you are. If you’re genuine about that and appreciate yourself enough to do that in whatever you decide to do with your life, you’ll be more rewarded, I think.
That’s what I’ve found. No holding back. Just who you are, embrace that and you’ll really be surprised about how much of a treat it is to be open with yourself and everybody else.
If you could just BE the honesty that you want to see in everybody else, there would be so much more reward.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: I want to go to a desert and just check it out for a while. I’ve wanted to do that for some time, whether that be out West or somewhere out in Africa.
I also want to scuba dive. I think that would be cool. There’s a lot to explore and to see, things that you just don’t get to see in the light of day.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: The Black Angels, Explosions in the Sky, and I recently started listening to Tame Impala again.
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
A: Probably Roomscapes Gallery. It was right next to the Copper Coin where there used to be a boutique. Right now, I think ICE Martini Bar is taking over the space. But that’s probably the most nostalgic for me because I have a lot of memories there.
Q: Choosing anyone deceased or alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: I think I’d like to have lunch with George Orwell. I’ve read a lot of his work–both what’s popular and also his essays–and I think he was a really interesting figure in that World War II era. Also, he was vehemently against totalitarian governments, and I feel like that could be very relevant today. I don’t think we’re having a totalitarian issue in this country per se, but there are signs of thought in society that are leaning us towards more of an authoritarian government. Anyway, I’d like to have lunch with him and pick his brain to figure out how he was able to have faith in his own country and still see the wars that he did.
It doesn’t have to be anywhere in particular, but maybe it could be at a food truck!
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
A: It’s almost all-encompassing. It’s all so close and small. You’ve got an amphitheater, a diverse range of dining, shopping, and then you go outside the city limits and you’re a mile from the lake and you can go kayaking. There are just all of these different things that you can do and that can take you to so many different places right here in this little area. It’s kind of an eclectic city that anybody could come to and find something that they enjoy.
You know what really interests me about Woodstock though is the geography. The land that is surrounding Woodstock. You’ve got all the pastures and then you have the lake and you have, you know, the hills and the mountains. I’ve spent so much time out on that lake just walking and hiking and kayaking. That’s really where I spent a lot of my time in my childhood is out there on the lake and in the woods.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I want to be financially able to live off of my artwork in 10 years whether that be through gallery sales, studio sales, working with commercial vendors, working with interior designers, or doing art fairs. All these things take a lot of planning and personalized marketing.
Right now, I’m teaching a small oil painting class at Elm Street. If I can continue doing that, with more students and eventually two classes a week instead of one, I’ll be closer to my 5-year goal of being able to have a steady art-related income.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I have a chocolate milkshake every night.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Nature, family, and peace.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: It’s more of a joke than anything, but Justin Timberlake. When I don’t have a beard and my head’s shaved people say I look like him. I think that’d be a funny one.
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
A: A studio assistant because they’d stretch canvas, bounce ideas off of me, and help out finding exhibition opportunities.
Chase King Art in the Community
Chase’s work is featured at the current Alumni exhibition at Kennesaw State
University now through the end of September.
He also has a mural inside the walk-in flower cooler at Brenda’s House of Flowers in downtown Woodstock, along with a few prints of his paintings of local Woodstock scenes.
To schedule studio visits, email firstname.lastname@example.org