By Kaitlin Wright
As a 19-year-old deaf, genderqueer, Chinese-Jewish artist currently transitioning on testosterone, Chella Man’s abstract art style is unlike any other. Living by “Be Your Own Representation”, Chella Man takes the time to open up honestly about who he is and how he feels, particularly on these mass accessible platforms while inviting others to learn more about the LGBTQ experience. Being deaf is a struggle, and being queergender adds onto the feeling of seclusion in society, with no definite way of coping besides using art as a strategy. Social media outlets allow Man to be himself and become a role model for people who identify with same or similar struggles as him. His art is abstract, described as simple yet intense by many followers who find comfort and a sense of connection with him. Many of his works are simplistic line drawings, similar to Matisse sketches, but with enhanced detailing, a little more graphic, and with political or emotional implications. When asked about his art in an interview, Chella said “Art has always been cathartic for these frustrating emotions. It is a type of therapy for me; so, I am constantly sketching, especially on the subway. I feel as if the abstraction of my art reflects this state of mind. The sharp, geometric lines incorporated in my art mix together, creating a type of calm chaos. It has its own original style due to my unique perspective of the world being deaf.” A recurring theme in Man’s work lately has been sketches based around a few revelations about maintaining a healthy relationship, where he gets inspiration from his first serious one when he was sixteen years old. Chella’s main muse is purely life experiences and how they make him feel, and he hopes to have his art meet with those who relate.