Chrystal’s beautiful works reflect childhood, innocence and awakenings to reality. It is softly focused with an inner intellect or reference. Castles, princesses, little girls and fairy tales are often juxtaposed with darker elements – eerie woodlands, blinded eyes or ties that bind. Chrystal is a deeply spiritual person and this resonates throughout her portfolio. Her art has a dreamy, peaceful feel to it that we love, almost an artistic trance develops when viewing it. The recurring girls in her art remind me of the resolute Scout, in the movie of To Kill A Mockingbird - full of compassion, growing and knowing, yet questioning the sad realities of life.
“I grew up in the Bay Area, California, mainly in a small town called Castro Valley. I lived near a lake. There’s a lot of hills, trees, grass, and wild animals- mostly deer, but I once saw a wild turkey and a wolf, separate of course. To start an idea, I usually play piano and worship. During this time, I often will see images or have an experience that will become a painting. My work tends to be based on subjects in metaphorical situations, stating facts of the physical and supernatural.” – Via Chrystal Chan
My favorite art memory from my childhood is…
when one of my relatives asked me to bring all my artwork to show the entire family for a Thanksgiving gathering. They were passing around my work, but soon realized there was a lot of blood, violence, and death and so they quickly wrapped up my sharing time. (I was a teenager.)
My interest in art/painting started ….
when I was very young. I drew a lot of girls, princesses, ducks, black hearts, and black wells. Somehow gold was always involved, I read a lot of fairy tales. My mom put me in a day care when I was young, I vaguely remember really enjoying using oil pastels and painting an ocean scene that I was fairly proud of.
I am often inspired and motivated by….
A lot of things! I’m huge on visual binging. Movies, fashion photography, fashion, unique faces (particularly women), all kinds of art, nature, and my husband. I always think, the more you see, the better – because it will influence your subconscious to be more creative.
If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be…
Someone like John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, or Gustav Klimt. I can’t choose one!
And we would….
Have high tea in a garden and chat about life things. Maybe we would paint too.
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is ….
Technique needs to match purpose. What do you intend to convey with your work? If your message requires hyperrealist rendering to convey your message, so be it. But really great art, can transcend technique and become pure feeling, reaching to some sort of human emotional core, in which technique is no longer subjective to the viewer. This is the best kind of art to me. (Of course technique is important too, to some extent.)
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be … something of Anselm Kiefer. His work emanates so much feeling and meaning. It’s a must-see in person to experience, sort of thing.
My favorite piece of my own art is….
The next one. Because… the next one has the hope to be even better.
My ultimate project or fantasy is …
To be a full time fine artist that doesn’t struggle financially and to have an intern.
The last song I choose to listen to was…
Sea of Love, by Cat Power
A John William Waterhouse art book. He’s incredible.
My favorite word is …
“Resonance”. ”Soliloquy” is kind of funny sounding too.
God, my husband and a piano.
It’s not hip, but I really love ….
Avocados and folk music.
My favorite motto (or quote) is….
“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” – Oscar Wilde. He said that on his death bed, pretty funny right?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Antwerp, Belgium. Antwerp really stole my heart because I lived in my aunt’s place for a month and a half there around 10 years ago. Her place was right next to a cathedral that had Peter Paul Ruben’s tomb and his home was nearby. I would consider it the heart of Europe because I easily travelled to France and Amsterdam by train. Also it felt like a very nice balance of city and living area.
Hive Gallery, group show, in Tokyo, Japan at Gankagarou. From Nov 16-21st. (Collaborating with my husband, Jehan Choo, under the name Little Yellow.)
Cella Gallery, group show in February. North Hollywood, CA
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