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Chris Coles’ Expressionist Bangkok

And you thought you know Bangkok. Without knowing Chris Coles.

A apparent offspring of Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. A Gauguin who got stranded in Bangkok on his way down to the Tahitian paradise islands.

Coles’ Expressionist paintings are jagged emotional portraits, revealing a raw and primitive layer of the human experience. And the abyss called Bangkok.

Coles, an artist and filmmaker who lives in Los Angeles and Bangkok, is part of the Expressionist movement which has its roots in the Germany of the early 1900’s.

As Expressionism is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect, Coles’ Bangkok is a deeply subjective form of art - rendering you an essence of the funky and weird, the downtrodden, hunted and shunned.

A timeless time wtiness.

Or take Coles’ Bangkok Noir series, an homage to the lost causes of our times, condensing all the filth and girls and drugs and thugs and godfathers and despair of juggernaut Bangkok.

And faces. How Coles sees faces.

You have seen those faces and moods, as Coles’ paintings are as much about Bangkok as about its every single occupant trying to make sense of the chaotic and immense urban center.

Says Coles: “The air is hot, the music loud, the Bangkok night intense. The men and women from not only Thailand and Asia but all over the world, all walks and levels of life, of every physical description from stylish, slim and refined to disgusting, nasty and crude, ranging from worldly to naive, wise to stupid, civilized to barbaric, kind to cruel. And everything in between.”

“Vibrant colors and dark jagged lines portray a chaotic, edgy night world of colliding intention and misplaced desire, lives out of balance, male-female compulsion, alienation and disassociation, a world containing both ecstasy and doom. The paintings echo early 1900’s Berlin as portrayed by the German Expressionists.”

The early Berlin as an obstetrician of current Bangkok - now that’s a thought to adore!

And keen-eyed Bangkok observer Chris Coles, a true pan-Bangkokian nostalgic rooted in another time, told absolutely:

“One of my favorite spots to sit and get ideas for paintings is Soi Cowboy, so visual, so funky, great neon, such a parade of people …:                                           


Chris Coles: “Patpong is not so pleasant, more edgy, more noir - the inspiration for the Patpong Portraits series:” 


“Ratchada at night is a visual wonderland, the gigantic discos, pubs and super massage palaces …:”


“Remember all those great paintings of Paris 1900’s nightlife, Berlin 1920’s, some of these paintings are on the links page which gives a little more background, combine the modern Bangkok Night with the German Expressionist vision …”

Vive Germany!    


                                             Visit The Galleries of Chris Coles