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Gilles André Chalandon:

Swim This Way 

September 11 – 26, 2020

Opening reception:

Friday, September 11, 6-8pm

Image: Jordan, 2020, Watercolor, ink, pencil, water-based marker on paper 33.25 x 25.5"

New York, NY- Space 776 is pleased to present Swim This Way, an exhibition of new portraits by Gilles André Chalandon, curated by Younghye Hwang, on view from September 11th through September 26th at 37-39 Clinton Street in the Lower East Side. 

"Last year in July, I flew to Dover, the UK with Jasmin and Jozef to crew for our friend Brad during his second swim across the English Channel. Excited by the anticipation of Brad’s endeavor I took this opportunity to work on live portraits."

- Gilles André Chalandon

His approach is to execute quick sketches on a drawing pad, “snapping the shot” – as he would with a camera – when he liked the image. The best times were moments of movement and tension, like when he and his friends all had to get ready to leave the Dover Bed & Breakfast, or at the rocky harbor beach before a practice swims in the cold water. The paintings are on paper, finished with watercolor, India ink, and water-based acrylic markers. 

With no formal art education, except time spent with his painter uncle, he draws inspiration from his travels to Japan, Australia, and the Philippine Islands, working for interior designers in his professional life, being an open water swimmer, and the simplicity of Keith Haring’s work, which he first saw riding the number 6, NYC subway line in the fall of 1984.


Gilles André Chalandon (b. 1956, Le Vigan, France) is a painter and swimmer. At 11 years old his godmother gave him a choice between a camera or a radio for a gift; he chose the camera. Since then he has been interested in the realism and exactness that photographic technology offers. Gilles has always been pulled away from pursuing art, by swimming, work and traveling, but in times of transition, like his move from his small town in the south of France to Paris, his later move to New York, the birth of his daughter, and  January 2016, with the death of David Bowie, he would find himself diving back into illustrating and painting.

For all inquiries, please contact at

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