Born in 1952 in Los Angeles, California, Raymond Chorneau was exposed to the Bay Area Figurative Painters and other artists at a young age. He drew from his environment and those around him and it still influences his work today. Mostly self taught, Raymond began painting in 1970 and pulls from the abstract expressionist genre pioneered in the 1940s and 1950s.
Works in wax and oil on canvas or paper, Chorneau captures a unique view of the world. Layers are built up and scratched into, exposing and revealing the colored levels below, then perhaps other courses layered on top again. Some of his works have as many as 30 layers applied to canvas or paper. Chorneau described the works of cavemen as some of the strongest forms of art in history,
“If you look at the cave paintings in France the images are powerful. Nothing in our history has been more significant than those cave paintings. You can say the painters of the Renaissance were more articulate but the cave painters were more significant on a soul level. They came from somewhere deep within human existence.” (Raymond Chorneau - Mountain Times)
Raymond’s paintings have the same effect on the viewer.
These primal images, often geometric in form, have been materializing over the course of years, transmuting from pictographic symbols and lines to a fuller realization of the figure. Often, it is difficult to tell whether the figure is merging or emerging into the background.
This struggle lends a mystery to Chorneau’s work and hints at the fragility of balance.