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Artist's Portfolio

Four Works (Introduced by Michelle Latiolais)

Chad Alan Horn

"What More Do I Need to Say": Introducing Artist Chad Alan Horn

by Michelle Latiolais


Chad Alan Horn, an extraordinary painter, who has been in our midst at UC Irvine for years now, and who several years ago had to undergo a heart transplant. He now walks with a cane, laughs gently at all manner of bureaucratic absurdity, and almost always sports an interesting scarf. One of my favorite paintings of his is a self-portrait, Chad looking head on, young, a bit fragile, a head of brown curls, hurt in the eyes, and at the opening of his denim shirt, a glowing circle, pink and red and its center a yolkish yellow.  I’ve never spoken to Chad about this painting, and the circle isn’t where his heart would be, but something pulses and glows at his center, and so I think it is his artist’s heart, his will to capture, to remember, to acknowledge some force that radiates from within. Chad very often paints himself within his work, not the artist at his easel capturing himself and subjects, those classical refractions, but Chad as a baby boy wearing a crown of roses and happily urinating into a series of hoops. Or Chad as a boy with a huge snake wrapping around his hand, seemingly trying very hard to smile at a person perhaps with a camera who is not in the painting. Maybe he’s five or six in this one, and the snake is a copperhead, very poisonous. Or Chad as a teenager beneath a woolly helmet of hair, staring from the couch with a bit of concern, a bit of fascination, at two huge ram’s heads hanging one at the top, one upside down at the bottom, suspended over a circle of red candles . . . an occult circle, gestures toward black magic, a fascination of Chad’s since early childhood. At the center of the hanging rams, laid across two legs with cloven hooves is a sword, and the painting’s title is Three Songs for a Sword. You can’t quite take your eyes from the painting because also there are what look to be Christmas decorations across drapes, and a beautifully rendered blue glass lamp with a huge shade, sixties chic to the nines. We need to get Chad Horn to tell us more about these paintings, or we just need to study them for their layers. Had Chad not been born in 1973, I’d think he was capturing the year of 1969 in America, its utter weirdness.


Not too long ago now, one of Chad’s paintings arrived in my house. It’s titled Drama Castle and it is sizable, 72 inches by 84 inches. I had seen it two summers ago in a group show in Los Angeles, and I kept going back to look at it until it was gone from the gallery, and then I pined. Once again a boy Chad is in the painting looking on as his very blonde baby- sitter French kisses her black boyfriend, whose arms hang straight down his narrow body, super cool! Maybe, at first, people think it’s edgy, a bit dangerous, the small boy with his huge yellow big-wheel duck, but the boy’s fine, he’s got his great sword and he’s happily looking out at us while that sweet drama plays itself out sexily over there. The young couple stands within an occult circle of burned down red candles, and upon closer inspection, one sees a candle atop the babysitter’s head, the red wax just beginning to pour. The painting mesmerizes the room. What more do I need to say.


 --Michelle Latiolais


Below are four works by Chad Horn. You can find more on his website.

Low Magic by Chad Horn

Low Magic, 2023, oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches


Drama Castle by Chad Horn

Drama Castle, 2022 oil on canvas, 72 x 84 inches


Two Young Pyschedelics by Chad Horn

Two Young Psychedelics, 2018, oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches


Age of the Leopard by Chad Horn

Age of the Leopard, 2018, oil on canvas, 56 x 66 inches


Chad Alan Horn's (b. 1973) oil paintings and works on paper explores his childhood and adolescent years in Oklahoma. The work speaks to the complexities of family relationships, domestic interiors, landscapes, occult histories, and childhood memory. Horn earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Oklahoma. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Horn works in Irvine and lives in Long Beach, CA.

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