CHAZAN! UNFILTERED at the WaterFire Arts Center Gallery will feature original artwork by Rhode Island based artist Erminio Pinque. The gallery show will be on display in our Visitor Center Gallery from Wednesday, September 15 – Sunday, October 24, 2021 with gallery hours* Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Gallery Nights are Thursday, September 16 and October 21 with TroopTop, a roof deck bar in partnership with TroopPVD. Special events: Gallery Talk on Wednesday, October 13 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Art On Tap with Erminio Pinque, a night creating with the artist, on Thursday, October 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“CHAZAN! Unfiltered“ follows the path of Rhode Island superhero and nephrologist Joseph A. Chazan, MD, as he pursues his two passions – art and medicine – and explores how the two collide. Dr. Chazan became a superhero to his patients when he tore through red tape to establish the first dialysis clinic in Rhode Island. When he needed an escape from work, he – with his cherished wife, Helene – raised eyebrows in the medical community when they turned to art, supporting countless previously unknown artists in the process and playing an instrumental role in establishing the beloved arts institution AS220.
In “CHAZAN! Unfiltered”, the doctor’s life is viewed through the lens of a conversation between grandfather and grandson. The two discuss professional accomplishments, friendship and art, life’s joys and heartbreaks, and how it all connects in a way that gives life meaning.
A collection of original hand drawn pages from the graphic novel will be on display. Visitors can see how each page is created through a collage of individual drawings; unveiling the layering and combination of different comic book styles which were used to reinforce the different aspects of the story.
*The WaterFire Arts Center is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and for private events on October 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, and 16.
Displayed in non-chronological order on gallery walls in physical frames with empty thought balloons void of words, each of the 50 selected illustrated pages of the graphic novel “CHAZAN! Unfiltered” seem independent of the connecting narrative they serve and can be viewed as a collection of art made seemingly for its own sake.
The drawings, which visually embellish, recast and abstract Dr. Chazan’s accounts of past conversations, dates, facts and philosophical perspectives on life, now invite new, imagined meanings, much like the traditional fine art pieces from the Chazan collection did before they were appropriated and recast as comic panels in the printed copy of the graphic novel.
All the works on display were hand made using pencil, ink, watercolor, marker and collage techniques guided by the artist’s push for an original approach to each page.
“Seeing the original graphic novel pages exhibited on the walls of the WaterFire Arts Center allowed me to experience the collection of work as if it were a deconstructed picture book, one that I could walk though, “read” backwards, skip pages, and imagine new stories from. It’s my hope that the presentation will validate one’s appreciation for the comic book medium and inspire renewed respect for the role of an accessible, community gallery like the WFAC in the Valley neighborhood.”
Erminio Pique, “CHAZAN! Unfiltered” illustrator
Erminio Pinque is an illustrator and performance artist based in Providence, RI, where he directs the international touring group BIG NAZO and the recently formed Space Transformation Station, an alien-robot shop that serves the community. He has taught Creature-Creation at the Rhode Island School of Design for three decades and is currently working on a graphic novel based on his “Monster of the Month” illustration series.
About the author
I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.