Laguna Art Museum Exhibition Opening and Visualizing fatherhood in the artwork of Chapman Hamborg
Known for his multi-figure painting and sculpture, though also adept at painting landscape and still-life, Huntington Beach based artist Chapman Hamborg creates exquisite paintings of fathers, mothers, children, and families. The theme of fatherhood as a rite of passage is often rare in art. Hamborg’s depictions, many of which are self-portraits help to fill this void.
Tomorrow night, the Laguna Art Museum will hold its opening and First Thursday Art Walk Free Evening Viewing for its 2023 MFA Exhibition (March 25 – May 29, 2023), and both Protector and Father and Sons, two of Hamborg’s large-scale oil paintings of fatherhood and family will be available for viewing.
In Father and Sons, Hamborg provides a tender glimpse at his own life as an artist-father with two young sons. The three figures sit naked together in the artist’s studio, father contemplative as his boys hang onto him. The image is one that many fathers with young children will relate to, as will families in general. Especially during their younger years, our children want to be on us, physically, and our bodies often become a blend in a family. This important blend of flesh and lives, at times chaotic, is how families bond, impacting their connectedness as the years go by.
Hamborg’s work provides other fathers, families and children with a way to visualize their interconnectedness. It also celebrates fatherhood as a rite of passage, having the capacity to create community among other fathers as they undergo the same rite. Visualizing Birth has previously looked at a representation of the phenomenology of birth and a man’s rite of passage. Hamborg’s art also intertwines with the phenomenology of fatherhood, expressing an embodiment of what it is to be a father to young children.
In addition to his work as an artist, Hamborg is in the final stages of writing his master’s thesis. Like his artwork, Hamborg’s writing is dedicated to the topic of birth, opening powerfully with the story of his wife giving birth for the first time. The artist explores the important impact of fatherhood on his coming into being as an artist.
With a long academic and studio background in fine arts studies, Hamborg has also trained in Florence, Italy. Anatomical, his works are also of a highly painterly nature, gorgeous in their use of light, shadow and shape. In addition to his work on fatherhood, many of his paintings are also devoted to themes of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.