Botanica Magnifica
Alexis de Chaunac
presented by
Silas von Morisse

Silas von Morisse is pleased to present Alexis de Chaunac’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

In this new body of work, de Chaunac draws his inspiration from the natural world: collecting insects, plants and minerals in the spirit of the naturalists.  A passion since childhood, this desire has evolved,  urging the artist to name, label and classify the world around him.

De Chaunac paints and draws on top of original French botanical engravings from the 18th and 19th century, giving new life to these enigmatic herbariums, custodians of naturalistic illustrations of typified plants.  His process introduces subtle forms and colors that give new meaning to the material while keeping visible the original illustration and the accurate name of each plant. De Chaunac likes to combine scientific rigor through observation with a sense of fantasy and optical illusion: among the plants, camouflaged human faces and symbiotic relationships with these extremely complex beings emerge.

Studies in neuroscience show that neurons connect with each other like plants within our brain. Those neurological gardens reflect our own personality, mood and energy. Plants beautify our planet, they provide oxygen and have exceptional nutritional and medicinal qualities for our bodies. Because of their infinite variety of colors, shapes and flavors, they are essential ingredients in gastronomy. Some plants are less innocent, hallucinogenic and even deadly depending on the potency of their poison. As we absorb them, they undergo a transformation and display their properties within our bodies.

Each work in this new series, Botanica Magnifica, corresponds to these inner reactions.

About the Artist
Alexis De Chaunac, French-Mexican, b.1991 in New York, NY, lives and works in New York.

Born in New York and raised in Mexico City and Paris, de Chaunac grew up drawing in the studio of his grandfather – renowned Mexican artist Jose Luis Cuevas. He came to the US to study at Sarah Lawrence College, NY. He shows with Silas von Morisse Gallery in New York and has already had his first museum solo exhibitions at the Museo Iconografico del Quijote, Guanajuato, Mexico (2014) and Pinacoteca Diego Rivera (2015).

As a rapidly up-and-coming artist, Alexis de Chaunac draws from nature, literature, religion, mythology, art history, politics, and his own multicultural background to produce exuberant, mixed-media drawings. He describes drawing as “a transcendental language that anyone can understand.” He works quickly, often with ink because of its fluidity, producing rich, multilayered works filled with faces and laden with cultural references. De Chaunac draws inspiration from such diverse artists as Rembrandt, Goya, Delacroix, Schiele, Picasso, and Francis Bacon, whom he groups together as “chroniclers of the human condition.” His own artistic rendering of humanity comes from literature. He claims influences from the Scriptures to great epics and all the way to Beat Generation writers such as William S. Burroughs. Referring to his practice as contemporary myth making, he takes archetypes such as Oedipus, Jesus Christ or Dante “working out of them to explore the primitive aspects of human nature.”

About Silas von Morisse
For information about Silas von Morisse gallery and this show, or to schedule a private visit outside of posted open hours, please visit the gallery’s website at or contact at Silas von Morisse may also be followed on Facebook and Instagram. Please contact the gallery for further information about the works.

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