Inside the Studio

Chad Schonten focuses on patterns

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

The main theme in my work is patterns. It’s a human instinct to look for patterns in anything we see. It’s how we survive. I like my work to be forceful and touchable, by giving it an extra dimension and height. The height also creates shadows which emphasize the pattern. The color of my work is usually white. White is a serene color that doesn’t distract from the pattern, while also providing contrast for the shadows.

The materials an artist chooses to work with are a very personal choice. I like to work with Paper Mache. Like clay, it can be molded into almost any form. But unlike clay it’s a light and strong material allowing it to be used in large wall pieces. The low weight, texture and smell of the material also makes it nice to work with.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

People give lots of advice and often it’s not very good. Stay close to what you think is right and set a high bar for yourself.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

I need a harmonious work environment so I like to work with calm music, mostly classical and jazz. I listen to Bach a lot, but also to Chet Baker and Miles Davis.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Jan Schoonhoven, R 71-20. Schoonhoven has been a great inspiration.

Who are your favorite writers?

I like to read different genres, literature, biographies, and non-fiction. I have no favorite writers. A Dutch magazine with short literary stories about soccer (‘Hard Grass’) is my current favorite.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.