You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Thomas Chung, Painting

Thomas Chung

Thomas Chung painting

For UAA painting professor Thomas Chung, the Divine is more than a pale, white-bearded man caressing fingers with Adam. Rather, a mythic image is a dead and putrid whale carcass. Religious experience is painting the visage of Angelina Jolie pouring a plastic bottle of Coke on a starving Ethiopian child she is breastfeeding, along with a pig. God is a Cheeto.

“I’m hoping for corporate sponsorship one day,” Chung joked in his kitchen/work space in North Anchorage that also looked like a taxidermy studio for a set from a Rob Zombie horror film. “It goes back to my interest for the sacred and profane. I think Cheetos are the most unsacred appearing thing, the most banal, everyday object. How could there possibly be a shred of God or anything mystical or spiritual in a bag of Cheetos? I don’t I know, I believe there is.”

The cheesy snack food makes multiple appearances in his work, including a painting of a raven clutching a single, orange puffed crisp in its beak, which will appear in Chung’s latest exhibition “1F14: That’s not God.”

Anchorage Press: God is a Cheeto