Friday, June 8, 2012

Some Blurbs & Quotes from Writers & Critics



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“Nobody captures Bangkok’s dark side as vividly as Chris Coles does.  The shocking degeneracy of the Bangkok night is visualized in these paintings in all its sordid, grotesque splendor, with uncommon sensibility for the complex humanity of its fiendish protagonists. In Chris Coles’ Bangkok, all sinners are saints.”Federico Ferrara, author of THAILAND UNHINGED and the KHI KWAI blog.

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"I highly recommend this to all of my friends. The artist exactly captures the sense of Patpong, Bangkok's red light district, and the sense of the current regime and society. Very striking" - Christine Gray, author of "THAILAND - THE SETERIOLOGICAL STATE".

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“Bangkok’s ‘seething underbelly’ has been desensitized to the point that photographic reportage now feels clich├ęd, even banal. As an artist-witness, Coles recaptures the profane crux of that milieu.  Through lurid palette and contorted portrait, he renders palpable the corruption, hypocrisy and denial.  Such human drives can elude the camera, but not the cariacture’s ability to nail an archetype.  Coles is a neon-era Gilray”Philip Cornwel-Smith, Editor, author of VERY THAI: EVERYDAY POPULAR CULTURE.

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“Chris Coles shows the other side of ‘Thainess’, the one that’s not so rosy and pretty as the government would like to portray but certainly reflective of the reality….but he also shows that what appears at first glance to be ugly and dark can also be beautiful….”Suranand Vejjajiva, Bangkok Post columnist & TV/Radio Show host.

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“Chris Coles creates a noir world with surrealistic beings, splashed with bright colors and drenched in atmosphere.  He is one of the first artists to explore the scenes from the Bangkok night. His portraits look behind the mask of those in the scene.  They are powerful and haunting images” - Christopher G. Moore, author of the VINCENT CALVINO P.I. SERIES of novels set in Bangkok & SE Asia.

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“Bangkok-based expressionist painter Chris Coles drills deep into the psyche of the fiery Thai underworld”Tom Plate, author GIANTS OF ASIA series & international columnist writing on modern Asia.

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“Chris Coles remarkable paintings from the Bangkok night give equal billing to both predator and prey”Liam Ayudhkij, owner Liam’s Gallery & Thailand’s largest collection of modern art.

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“Chris Coles beat is the Expat neon triangle, Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong, where the wildlife gathers at the waterholes in the cool of the night”Paul Dorsey, author of the DALI HOUSE blog.

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“Chris Coles is a Bangkok-based artist who filters the completely surrealistic scene of the Bangkok night thru German Expressionist eyes.  He gets it right. Bangkok, the city that never sleeps, is in line with his wild imagination and the character sitting on the barstool next to you in Nana Plaza looks just like one of his portraits”Carl Parkes, author of MOON HANDBOOKS for THAILAND, BANGKOK, SINGAPORE, PHILIPPINES & SE ASIA, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER: THAILAND & the FRISKODUDE blog.

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"Chris Coles' daring reflections on Bangkok's underbelly defy the usual limited and banal representations of tourist brochure Thailand. He captures the moody degeneration and vaudevillian gaucheness of Thailand's very own "City of Angels" utilizing color and shadow to devastating and fearless effect. Forget the Thai Smile - the Bangkok Noir is where it's at."Andrew Spooner, journalist & author FOOTPRINT THAILAND HANDBOOK, FOOTPRINT CAMBODIA HANDBOOK

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“Sexy and intriguing…..”T.E.D. Klein, GQ Magazine.

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"Whether you are a novelist or a painter, you make art by getting beneath the surface of something and illuminating its truth. Bangkok is not what the tourist authority tell you it is. It is what Chris Coles tells you it is. That's really all you need to know about the place." -- Jake Needham, author of THE BIG MANGO and four other novels of contemporary Asia.

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“Chris Coles’ Bangkok Night body of work expresses the raw power of humanity with both skill, concept and style of work.  Influenced by German Expressionism, the paintings are the essence of pure emotion” – Angela Di Bello, Editor in Chief, ArtisSpectrum Magazine.

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“I like Chris Coles’ Bangkok paintings very much.  The starkness, the bold lines and vivid colors evoke the strange appeal and tragedy of the nightlife, and its plain weirdness”Nick Nostitz, author & photographer RED VS. YELLOW: THAILAND’S CRISIS OF IDENTITY and PATPONG: BANGKOK’S TWILIGHT ZONE

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“Thailand’s pulsing capital hasn’t been depicted with this much flair and vivacity since the 1980’s musical CHESS.  Coles’ paintings are a neon depiction of Bangkok’s notorious nightlife where ‘the bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free’”TIME OUT SINGAPORE


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“Chris Coles paintings and artwork is very striking I guess I would say.  They remind me of Zappa lyrics...'gross and perverted, obsessed and deranged'.  His colors are so primitive and their throbbing clash on your eyes and senses ooze a sense of darkness, of evil even.  Yet, they are almost playful at times and amusing as well.  His work reminds me of what I expect to see when I am fairly obliterated and moving aside the thick velvet curtain of the umpteenth 'next' gogo bar, the one I know I should not go in, but enter I do. You know, the bar with the katoey mamasan with the garish make-up that glows under the black lights that scares the bejesus out of you as his/her face looms in your drunken blurry field of vision.  Coles captures the extra-dimensional feel of the Thailand nightlife.  His work occupies another zone of existence.  It's so ugly at times it is intriguing in a perverse way that makes one want to embrace it.  If you know what I mean? Maybe not....” – ANONYMOUS BLOGGER