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Timothy Chapman


For Timothy Chapman, animals have always had a powerful presence. “They are mysterious, hilarious, and terrifying,” the Arizona-based artist says. “We eat them, worship them, classify them, and dream about them.” In his works, Chapman is intent on reminding viewers that there is much to cause a sense of wonder in Mother Nature’s vast variety of animal species, which he describes as “this prowling, flying, slithering, extended family of ours.”

However, Chapman believes that most people are immune to the strangeness of creatures like giraffes and zebras. They don’t really see how truly odd they are. Thus in his renderings, Chapman enjoys tweaking images and making up entirely new species in hopes that people will come away with a sense of having discovered something new. For inspiration, he turns to figures in art history, such as the surrealists, Hieronymus Bosch, and Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the 16th-century Italian painter who created bizarre portraits of people by incorporating images of animals and vegetables to depict their heads and faces.

After receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology from Occidental College near Los Angeles, Timothy Chapman went on to get a BFA from Arizona State University and then an MFA From Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, both in printmaking. He later began painting seriously for want of a press.  Most recently he was honored to be chosen by the U.S. State Department to show paintings in the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, and to have work become part of its permanent collection in Myanmar (Burma).  Chapman lives and works in Arizona.