David Cheifetz, ‘Orbital’, 2013, Gallery 1261

About David Cheifetz

David Cheifetz’s still lifes, landscapes, and narratives frequently feature absurd juxtapositions—a weight surrounded by pieces of fruit, large insects flying beside a shot of alcohol, an ear functioning as a wall-mounted lamp. Reflecting the language of dreams, these dark, hyperrealistic tableaux suggest bizarre and intriguing narratives. Cheifetz paints alla prima, an oil painting technique in which wet paint is applied to previous layers of wet paint. He works without detailed underpainting or studies, creating atmosphere through prominent, expressive brushstrokes and strong chiaroscuro. “I like to have my paintings structural and precise but at the same time loose,” he says. “I like how you can create focus in a painting by making the center of interest tight, and then you can get loose as you get more peripheral because those other things aren’t as important.”

American, b. 1981