Victor Man's work proposes the continuity of seemingly unrelated images, objects, cultures, historical events, and personal memory. Man's influences are both classical and contemporary, connecting iconographic references from Western art to literary, mythical, and imaginary ideas of his own. Through the use of non-linear narratives, he blends and dilutes the lines between past and present, fiction and reality.
The Chandler is a series of portraits presenting a seated, decapitated figure holding its head in its lap. The figure is portrayed with elements of male and female genders, a subtle reference to Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando about a poet who transitions from man to woman. As with much of Man's work The Chandler also alludes to historical elements -- in this case Acéphale, derived from the Greek ἀκέφαλος (akephalos, "headless"). In another referential layer, Man channels Giordano Bruno's work on cosmology, which concluded that stars are distant suns surrounded by their own circulating planets. Known as cosmic pluralism, the proposal suggests an infinite universe, with no specific celestial body at its center. In this exhibition, The Chandler intentionally positions the viewer in relation to each painting in accordance with these rotational patterns followed by revolving planets.
The series' title refers to the medieval term for candle maker, or specifically, the person who cuts off the tip of a candle in order to light it. With these works, Man carries out the principal act of the chandler by severing the upper end of his composition, and igniting a metaphorical fire.