Jimmy Chiale is a Paris-born, Toronto-based visual artist whose popular abstract style and hustler’s ambition have become synonymous with Toronto as a city. At once rebellious and refined, his art combines the better of two worlds: graffiti culture’s spontaneity and freedom of expression with the attention to detail and richness of a Picasso masterpiece.
Much of Jimmy’s work contemplates opposing forces; high and low art, life and death, love and lust―which is what makes it so relatable and universal. Having come up on the streets of Toronto, there were many nights Jimmy found himself without a place to sleep. Day and night he soaked up the subtle, often undefinable impressions of a city on the rise―the diverse textures, sounds, feels and flavours―all of which he transmuted into his art. A compulsive doodler who loves to experiment, Jimmy works in a variety of mediums, from canvas and illustration to mural and graphic design, approaching each with the playfulness and eagerness of a child. Yet the style, often mimicked but never replicated, remains unmistakably Chiale. His sure lines dance around the page like poetry and cut through abstraction like an alchemist turning concrete into gold.
His credibility and popularity made him a prime candidate to design the backdrop to Justin Bieber’s set for his show at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall in 2015. Chiale has also sold works to celebrities such as Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan, collaborated with name brands Nike and Scion, helped found a skate company Longboard Living, showed his work at a plethora of exhibitions and fine restaurants all over the city. He continues to receive commissions for live paintings, walls and murals with companies such as Heineken, Nike, Air Jordan, and PayPal to name a few.