“I wanted to say something completely different,” says art restorer Jonathan Chánduví, who is having a show of a group of his own paintings, dubbed “The 11th Hour,” which will open with a cocktail reception Thursday evening. The presentation, which will be held at Penthouse B of the Azure building on Manhattan’s East 91st Street, will feature a variety of paintings created using one or more of Chánduví’s distinctive elements, which include layers of paint, mirrors, Mylar reflecting materials, shadow boxes, light bulbs and gold leaf.
Chánduví, a third-generation restoration specialist who has worked with everything from sixth-century Buddhas to 18th-century French furniture to postmodern paintings, often uses lacquering and glazing techniques in his own creations.
“I wanted to do both,” he says of combining restoring and making his own works of art. “I’m going to keep restoring pieces that need to be approached artistically. But what I found with my art is that it offers another excitement, another challenge.” In the art world, he notes, “Everybody wants to be Pop-py.” But he doesn’t. ‘‘I know how the art world works,” he adds, explaining that the idea of approaching galleries and sending in images of his paintings, then possibly being asked to rework them, did not appeal.
Chánduví was approached by Björn Björnsson, an interior designer who is working at the Azure building, to supply paintings to add to the staging of Penthouse B. It’s an unusual gambit for an artist, but it’s a choice that seems to suit him. “It’s like the way that, as soon as you get a girlfriend, every other girl wants to date you,” Chánduví says, explaining the fact that several of the works have already sold — a small painting starts at $3,400 — and will be bound for locations that include Connecticut and Paris.