John Chehak

Iowa, USA | Acrylic

Artist Statement

By the time I was in my late forties I began to feel an urge to explore my long dormant artistic abilities. My medium of choice was undiluted acrylic paint on paper and canvas. I then applied to several regional art fairs. Besides paying the fees for juried events, I needed to purchase a decent quality tent, add some amenities to it like a comfortable flooring, a decorative rug, lighting to highlight the work, and good quality display panels for hanging my art. I have participated in more than seventy-five juried shows and I have sold more than six hundred original paintings.
‘Urban Crowding’ was selected as Showcase Winner in an online competition. I was featured on the University of Iowa’s website. In 2002 I was chosen to display in the Iowa Governor’s Mansion. One of my ‘Rooftops’ paintings was selected as the cover photo for JMCP magazine.

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Artist Statement Cont’d

According to Sheila Macho, Cover Editor for JMCP magazine, ‘Chehak’s Rooftops painting bears a slight resemblance to a Georges Braque Cubist landscape. Cubism was an early 20th century avant-garde art movement pioneered by Braque and Pablo Picasso that revolutionized European painting and sculpture… Perhaps the composition is a metaphor for urban overcrowding. Or it could represent the artist’s state of mind — his attempt to convey all the feelings that he was experiencing at the time.’

Additionally, in 2015 one of my landscapes was chosen as banner art for the MFA Creative Writing Program at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. and early in 2016, I finished a successful show at The Biomedical Research Facility at the University of Iowa Medical Campus. In 2018 I was chosen as the Commemorative Print Artist for the 25th Annual St. Louis Art Fair. And in 2020 I was selected as the poster artist for the well-known 57th Street Art Fair, in Chicago, Illinois.

I was once described on the Des Moines based Kavanaugh Gallery’s website: ‘His muted colors and distinct choice of subject matter have attracted collectors throughout the nation. Many of Chehak’s paintings emerge directly from his imagination.’ My subjects have included urban scenes , but I still prefer the sedate landscapes of the Midwest. In recent years, my work has taken on new personalities with vibrant colors, symmetry, and compelling presentation. I now have patrons in more than 40 states.

John Chehak