Paul Chandler

When asked about his work, one theme Paul Chandler often comes back to is diversity.  The term has a dual meaning in this case, referring both to an endorsement of the benefits of cultural diversity and to his effort to make a diverse body of work by not repeating any of his creative formulas too closely.  In his mixed-media drawings, familiar visual themes are often derailed by newly incorporated material (beads, thread, collaged bits).  In his hand-sewn "spectrum sensory" dolls, he shifts suddenly between contrasting fabrics, makes beguiling material substitutions for bodily features, and will often sew on trinkets in seemingly arbitrary places.  Originally, the dolls were conceived as comfort aids to two of Chandler's nephews who are autistic.  In this way, the shifting texture of the dolls offers a variety of haptic comforts a regular stuffed animal cannot.  Chandler deliberately incorporates unexpected new elements to propel his work forward, ensuring that the next thing does not look quite the same as the previous thing.  He puts it like this: "Infinite diversity, in infinite combinations" (quoting Vulcan philosophy).  Chandler is a Buffalo native.  He dabbled in drawing when he was younger but mentions being guided by a few close family members and one grade school art instructor.  He has been an artist at Starlight Studio and Gallery in Buffalo for over a decade.