When I told Chad that I wanted to write about his work, he offered to look at the show with me and help me with the syntax of what I was experiencing with each painting. I grinned and replied that I could walk circles around his syntax. We both had a good laugh.
I then fired three questions at him: "What was his intention? What was his relationship with the materials? What type of relationship does he expect the viewer to have with his work?" His eyes lit up and he pointed at the painting behind me (of course).
Chad told me that he was inspired by J.L. Borges at which point I cut him off about his work and we began to geek out on the idea of the Infinite and the Word in Borges' works "Book of Sand" and "Library of Babylon" which led to talk about the autonomy of his work and his use of wood pulp and various stones ground into powder and mixed with his paints, now Antonio Tapies and alchemy and Ecclesiastes.
I was fortunate to meet several collectors and the gallerists while talking with Chad and we all agreed that his work, while sublime in its representation, possessed enough tactile quality to draw the viewer into the contemplation of tonality and space and the calming of the active spirit.
I asked Chad if he likes magic tricks. He said yes. That lets me know that as a person, authentic to his being-- that is looking to define his work semantically, but that he's excited by wonder and mystery and even slight of hand and deceit. He searches for the extraordinary and the pure essence of infinite, in nothing and everything.
I think he prefers everything.
See Chad Buck: Painting Survey 1998-2010 at Roy Boyd Gallery 739 N. Wells in River North, Chicago.