Exploring the irresistible, surreal world of Chiaozza
Chiaozza seem to come from a universe quite different from our own. It’s a place where painted paper plants grow and large, patterned, plastered forms stand like some kind of hyper-coral. It’s an organic, textural avant-garde, at once childlike and sophisticated.
Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza are Chiaozza, an art and design duo based in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City. They’re a couple of mixed media artists and partners in work and in life. Their work explores play and craft across a number of mediums; painted sculpture, installation, collage and photography. Full of joy and oozing an irresistible playful spirit, they’ve shown their boundary-crossing art in solo and group shows across the US since their studio’s inception in 2011. We love everything about their ‘story’. The two met at a karaoke bar in Chinatown in 2011, soon after there was an incident where an impromptu collaboration took place. Word has it, it was breakfast time, they were making pancakes, there was a swath of ink and monoprints were suddenly being created with said pancakes. From then on they were known as Chiaozza.
Terri and Adam have managed to create their own world and visual language through colour, shape, form and material. Their work is approachable and accessible, inviting us all in to join them. With a vibrant colour palette and a touch of the surreal, their universe consists of otherworldly creatures and absurd objects. Enter the Lump Nubbins which are mixed media paper pulp sculptures on concrete bases, painted in wonderful palettes with crazy spiky additions and potato-like sprouts. And then there is The Miami Collection; shapely, shelf-like objects that are hung on walls in pastel and fluorescent hues and geometric shapes. The duo have said, “Everything imaginary is real, and everything real is imagined. Our work addresses this without trying to draw a distinction between the two.” Taking a look at their studio, surrounded by all of these objects, is like some kind of semi-surreal landscape that only previously could have existed in our minds. We wish we could stay.