Diane de Chatillon
Diane de Chatillon
Diane de Chatillon once was an Ivy League research scientist with a Ph.D. in psychology and philosophy focusing on complex problem solving, decision making, and predictive modeling of human behavior. Yet reading Anita Albus’ book “The Art of Arts”, a philo-sophical and technical examination of northern European Renaissance painting, proved to be a pivotal experience. She followed her true calling of becoming a painter instead of a scientist. As if it were her true means of expression, Diane has been painting since she was four years old. Although she was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Mas-ter’s program in Fine Arts, she is self-taught. Diane de Chatillon applies a deep knowledge of art history, Renaissance and old-master painting techniques to create contemporary art with timeless symbolism. Its prominent theme is the concurrent necessity for what Frie-drich Nietzsche would call Dionysian and Apollonian power. Obsessed with understand-ing the laws of human nature, Diane gained a deeper understanding of human life as de-pendent on both wildness and form, unleashing and constraint, chaos and cosmos. Hu-man brains see and create patterns in a seemingly chaotic vastness of information. By se-lecting and filtering this information, it becomes a human interpretation of reality, a model of reality that “makes sense”. Metaphorically, humans must create a cosmos, a garden, a paradise as a bulwark against chaos and death. However, their unbridled need for order and control leads to an irreversible destruction of a nature that, although chaotic to them, possesses a finely balanced internal order. Although this may seem contradictory, the practice of limitation and self-control allows human beings to achieve true release and freedom: The shaman, wearing an animal mask that reduces his flexible behavior to the animal’s ritualized character, dances himself in ecstasy. The mask of a Comedia de’l Arte character limits the character of the actor, but allows the greatest possible freedom to im-provise. A follower of a mystical tradition forces and disciplines her life in order to achieve the greatest freedom of oneness with the divine through the unleashing of the self and the death of the ego. These two poles of one dimension, a structuring and wild human nature, are what Diane de Chatillon expresses in her art, often depicting human figures and faces in contrast to a rhythmic, dynamic background–likewise the human body as it is tossed into the savagery and beauty of life. For Diane, the painters of fifteenth-century Italy and northern Europe had an unsurpassed power and essence of expression; their art is her inspiration and aspiration, and she is a perpetual student of their painting tech-nique. However, because the content of Diane’s painting relates to the surreal, visionary, and subconscious, she also feels inspired by artists such as William Blake, Odilon Redon, Alfred Kubin, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, Leonor Fini, and H. R. Giger. Diane de Chatillon’s art is available as original paintings, fine art prints, and NFTs.