Like other artists who were trained in graphic design, Denis Chiasson attaches great importance to composition. He begins his works by making a series of sketches or drawings. Once a sketch is chosen, Chiasson transposes the outline to the canvas which is progressively defined with the application of colour. What emerges is a painting whose subject is enhanced by strong, angular, intense lines. This meticulous process adds to his works a touch of perfectionism that is seldom seen elsewhere. His strong colours reveal an uncommon sensitivity, bringing forth touching images inhabited by a unique personal style.
Even in the midst of activity—playing music, painting, reading, skating, Chiasson’s subjects are in deep contemplation. In the world of increasingly hectic lives, Chiasson’s artwork contains within it an attempt to rest. His subjects juxtaposed against lively brushstrokes, reflect the viewers’ inner selves juxtaposed against the pressures of modern life.
But what is interesting and perhaps difficult about Chiasson’s work is the relationship between the viewer and subject. When one looks at a Chiasson, one looks into a private moment. We look but are not looked at. Viewers are voyeurs, their gazes active. Chiasson’s figures have a downward gaze and perpetually closed eyes. Perhaps the viewer is the intruder, comforter, or witness; perhaps the viewer is reflected back onto themselves, confronted with their own quietness.