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Damian Octavio Kaliyeski (Chaval)

Chaval constructs his images from a purely pictorial perspective, for painting is his only tool and resource to build his images and display his poetry: figures, landscape, and mood created with only brushes and color; in his work, even spills and blank spaces are eloquent, and they serve a good faith narrative and aesthetic. Light is also key, and the artist always portrays it as ideal, almost apocryphal: a light of dusk, flat, melancholic, the light that makes everything look golden and a bit more beautiful, precisely because it’s about to fade into darkness.


Chaval prefers the unnerving, sardonic, subtly off-centered, in the midst of a reality that, while perfect, lurks menacing.


Mariano Soto - Art Historian


Translated by: Ivan Araque



Born in 1975 in Buenos Aires. In his early art career, Chaval drew comics with an apocalyptic sense of humor wile studying fine art painting. In search of a new media of artistic creation, he started to paint on vinyl surfaces such as cushions and punching bags, witch has become an important body of his work. Since moved to New York in 1999, he has developed a series of works embodying his signature characters PIPU the Mutant butterfly, and PEPO the mutant walking pet. In April 2003, his work received Artist Achievement Award given by Charlotta Kotik, Curator and Chair of Department of Contemporary Art of Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Solo Exhibitions
2004 Excessive / Lunarbase, Williamsburg, NY
2003 PIPU & CHAVAL / Lunarbase, Williamsburg, NY
1998 Espacio Giesso / Bs As, Argentina / Chaval - Salamanko
1997 Espacio Giesso / Bs As, Argentina / Chaval – FuentesBo

International Group Exhibitions

2015 Brooklyn Biennial Submissional / Cotton Candy Machine gallery, Brooklyn NY

2015 Y un soplido se llevara tu asombro / Teatro 25 de Mayo, Buenos Aires

2014 Argentinean Affair / Lilac Gallery NY

2008 Buenos Aires Affair / The Gowanus Studio Space. 119 8th Street, Brooklyn

2008 A passion for Pixels / ISLIP Art museum, Long Island, NY
2005 Over the Top, Under the Rug / CICA The shore institute of the Contemporary Arts, New Jersey
2005 Funkadelicide / Broadway Gallery / SOHO, NY
2005 Nova Young Art Fair / West Loop, CHICAGO
2005 Link to the world, Lunarbase, Williamsburg, NY
2005 Art Miami 2005 / Miami Beach
2004 The CHARACTERISM "Link the World", Gallery Geki, Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
2004 CHARACTERISM, Free space gallery, Tokyo
2004 CHARACTERISM / Artist achievement award, WAH Center, Williamsburg, NY
2003 PALM BEACH CONTEMPORARY/ ART FAIR / Martin du Louvre Galery (Paris)
2003 The CHARACTERISM / Lunarbase, Williamsburg, NY
2003 CHARACTERISM / Mirai Award, Lunarbase, Williamsburg, NY

2003 Artist Achievement Award, CHARACTERISM, given by Charlotta Kotik, Curator and Chair of Department of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art.
2003 Mirai (Future) Award, CHARACTERISM, given by Lunarbase Gallery and Sozo Shoten.


It may be difficult to place my work as part of a predefined movement or concept: I use mixed techniques and philosophies in a succession of images, lacing them with my apocalyptic sense of humor. My individuality derives from my ability to break down the present complexity from a point of view that is sublime yet horrifying- an uncanny world inhabited by pleasure as much as pain.
My intention is to transcend the static limitations of the painting, both aesthetically and conceptually, conveying powerful emotions with the work while maintaining tranquility. I browse through an extremely calculated imperfection born of my Buenos Aires design influence. Technically, I plan precisely to achieve mechanic-print effects. The digital resources I plan with are transferred manually onto the canvas where they meet human spontaneity. I am perpetually exploring new media to bring new effects and complexity to the art.
A motif and quasi-signature, Pipu is a mutant butterfly born out of pollution, cute enough to enchant, yet sinister enough to survive our times. As a symbol of cruel reality, I designed Pipu to interact with viewers in diverse situations - to undercut while embracing my concept - thus the work receives both a starting and ending point.
I draw inspiration from the ever-changing stories that influence our existence, our minds' reactions to diverse stimuli, everyday situations that are refashioned from extreme points of view, popular western symbols, the cacophony of consumerism, and beauty.


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