Art Interviews

Liberian Visual Storyteller Chase Walker

Chase Walker was born in Monrovia, Liberia on July 11, 1989. Chase’s work consists of paintings, photography, cartoons, and digital art. Some of the mediums he uses are water-color, acrylic paint, oil paint, pastel, charcoal and also coffee-painting.

 

His work

At the young age of 25, Chase Walker has an impressive resume. He is a former New Narratives resident photojournalist; his work for New Narratives has appeared in publications around the world. He has illustrated various children’s books. For nearly four years Chase worked at Liberia’s premier newspaper and news website, FrontPage Africa where he was head of the graphic department and was responsible for the layout and design of the newspaper and regularly contributed political and social cartoons.

Growing Up

It was difficult to find an art school growing up during the civil war in Liberia and most of what Chase knows today has been self-taught and by learning from other experienced artists. Chase fled fighting in Liberia in 2003 and spent six years in a refugee camp in Ghana. He experienced first-hand the hardships of refugee life—water and sanitation concerns, scarcity of food and lack of money for school. While Chase was in Ghana his father died in Monrovia from a stroke when a rebel attack on the capital shut down the hospitals. This calamity, and the difficult years away from home, made him the person he is today. Chase never gave up on pursuing an education and took advantage of every opportunity offered. When there was nothing else to make him happy, art carried him through.

Chase’s goal in life is to use art to make people see his country, Liberia, in a positive way. His principle in life is simple, ” life has to get bitter before it gets sweet”. Chase has a passion for capturing beauty. He especially enjoys photographing children because he sees something inside them that people don’t always notice.

 

Chase believes photography is particularly important in Liberia where more than 70% of people are illiterate.

“They need pictures to help them, to tell them things. If I help one person through taking pictures, if I change one person’s situation for the better, that’s an achievement for me. That’s my happiness right there.”

View more of Chase Walker’s work here. Follow Chase on Twitter.

 

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