Chance Dunlap, "Bitch Face", 2014
Chance Dunlap was born and raised near Lubbock, Texas, where big skies, cotton fields, and rural experiences have shaped his life and work. While in high school, his family moved to Sherman, Texas, where, in the summer of 2003, he made his first sculpture the backyard of his parents' house – deciding instantly to become a practicing artist. Humble beginnings and a complete lack of art exposure gave him a voracious appetite for all things art-related. Dunlap completed his undergraduate work at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma, just north of the Texas/Oklahoma border, earned a MFA in Sculpture from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and currently teaching 3-D design as well as sculpture at South Eastern Oklahoma State University. The artist's work continues to take clues from his rural roots, experiences, and personal interests.
Artist Statement - "UNCOMMON, YET AS DAILY AS BREAKFAST"
My current body of work revolves around my personal experiences, material interests, and reflects my intrigue with preserving both the roots of my heritage and studio practice. As a child we lived in the middle of a huge expanse of cotton fields stretching forth in all directions. The rows were our earthy playground, the space seemed limitless, and seasonal shifts affected our activities. The rural lifestyle was greatly contrasted by the vicinity of a larger cultural body. My generation grew up knowing the traditions, yet have also built upon new technologies, cultural changes, and innovations. This dramatic contrast in my life has cultured my aesthetic development tremendously.
The aesthetic I have developed over the years has its’ roots in the junk piles and simple vernacular installations I grew up very near and interacted with, yet is also laced with cultural references key to my generation. Materially the work in this group is mostly created from left over wood pieces, or cast off materials from various other processes. The work expands and builds from welding processes, carpentry work, and simple innovative strategies. The object is central, yet its’ value is brought up for interrogation. Some of the work follows a direct sculptural path where planned forms or found objects are challenged by improvisational applications. Another stream of work plays with both sculpture and painting, yet being neither, challenges and embraces each. While, another group of work responds directly to painting, and confronts the strange rural mysticism I encountered growing up. My studio practice is a reflection of my experiences and material interests, and is compounded by my compulsion to create art in the first place.
I hope that my work can be interpreted as a medium, which contains messages and associations that reach beyond the station of the viewed artwork. Each work is an inheritor to the entire lineage of my process over the past twelve years. I embrace the individuality I associate to each piece, and each little directional shift is important for all the work because it allows reflection upon the correctness of a certain direction? To me no particular work is more important than another. Each comes from the same stream, but just involves a different set of choices and solutions.
-- Chance Dunlap, 2015