Tofer Chin


Vivid, Tofer Chin‘s current exhibition at Commissary Arts in Los Angeles, doesn’t look like it’s about sex, even though the works’ titles and the press release explicitly reference gender, sexuality and adolescent ambivalence. Yet maybe the best thing about Chin’s work is that it asks us to reassess the way we associate psychological and bodily phenomena with graphics.

Chin’s paintings occupy the place where decorative and minimal meet hipster, where grids and lines start to become fun instead of austere. The fetish-finish majesty of Confirmation, the largest painting in the small gallery, seems a warped redress of color field painting, its big blue rays shooting up past the skewed checkered background into a pastel-colored halo. Yet putting Chin’s work into an art historical narrative seems somehow wrong. Ultimately, he’s more interested in the here and now.

Chin starts his work at the computer, experimenting with perspective and color. When he translates his digital manipulations into paint, the interaction between his sleekly composed images and the tactile nature of paint emphasizes that strange disconnect between systematics and visceral, bodily sensations. Chin, who graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002, has recently exhibited at Fecal Face Dot Gallery in San Francisco, Ad Hoc Art in Brooklyn, and Rojo Artspace in Barcelona. Vivid continues through October 25th.