Chaz Guest

Chaz Guest

 

Chaz Guest (born May 2, 1961, Niagara Falls, NY) is an American painter and sculptor of profound inventiveness for capturing the raw essence reflection of the universal human spirit. Blessed with gifts of realizing his richly textured visions and tapping into their vibrant essence, Guest leaves those who encounter his works moved in powerfully personal ways. From his acclaimed “Cotton Series” paintings of enslaved African Americans rendered on 100% pure Georgia cotton flags to his latest graphic novel creation Buffalo Warrior that is about to be a state of the art major motion picture, Guest proudly inserts his culture into every piece he makes. Typically donned in a Japanese kimono and slippers in his Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles studio where he is surrounded by bold, beautiful Africa-originated inspirations, Guest captures light energy and life legacy in his works. The catalyst of his art lies in how Guest injects purity and excellence throughout. “I trust my voice,” Guest states. “I have a story to express for humanity.”

The works of Chaz Guest are found in lofty spaces of distinction. 44th American President Barack Obama has two: one of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (at first on loan from the DuSable Museum in Chicago to hang in the Oval Office but later acquired for his and the First Lady’s personal collection) and a portrait of himself. Oprah Winfrey owns a painting of Maya Angelou as a little girl (Poised with a Pencil) as well as the major work Industrial Revolution Classroom from “The Cotton Series.” Icons from the late Gordon Parks to Misty Copeland have sat before him to be rendered into immortality. The late television executive Blake Byrne, founder of The Skylark Foundation, commissioned Guest to render a portrait for his Paris home but passed away before completion. Art Patron Beth Rudin DeWoody owns two of Guest’s Buffalo Soldiers while other works are in the collections of Javier Baz, board member of the Denver Museum of Art, Ted Sarandos (COO of Netflix) and former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant. Angelina Jolie purchased a Buffalo Soldier at Patrick Painter Gallery in Santa Monica. Movie mogul Tyler Perry treated himself to five of Guest’s paintings for his Atlanta home while Jazz legend Herbie Hancock has a piece hanging in his Hollywood abode. Guest has also repurposed a 2018 sculpture into a perennially awarded statuette called “The Icon Man,” 2019 recipients being filmmaker Spike Lee, actor Samuel L. Jackson and costume designer Ruth Carter.

“Something mysterious is happening,” Guest reveals. “Whereas it used to be a laboring thing when I paint, now it feels like information is simply flowing through me. The biggest epiphany came on a trip to Tokyo and seeing mercurial jazz saxophonist Kenny Garrett who asked me to paint onstage while he wailed full-out with his quartet (then consisting of the late Kenny Kirkland on piano, Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums and Nat Reeves on bass). That really opened me up! I had to rely more on feeling than precise execution. It’s like Miles Davis used to say: ‘Don’t think about shit you already learned!'”