After receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology from Occidental College near Los Angeles, Timothy Chapman went on to get a BFA from Arizona State University and then an MFA From Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, both in printmaking. He later begain painting seriously for want of a press. Acrylic is his current medium of choice.
" 'Invented Natural History Illustration' is how I've been describing my paintings," says Chapman. "Visually, the work borrows from various western traditions of depicting animals and plants, particularly the copperplate engravings that illustrated Buffon's Natural History (begun in 1766), as well as Victorian animal portraiture and old scientific illustration. I have tried to present similarly earnest, but basically inaccurate, renderings of animals by using humor, irony and a surrealistic sensibility that is not available to the scientist. In this way I attempt to address the emotion/sensation of Wonder, the conflict between the Real and the Imaginary, and why we accept certain things as True."
Chapman has shown his work from Coolidge, Arizona (solo exhibition, Central Arizona College) to Florence, Italy (2001 Florence Biennale). Most recently, he was honored to be chosen by the U. S. State Department to show paintings in the U. S. Embassy in Tunisia and to have work become part of its permanent collection in Myanmar (Burma).