Born in Inglewood, California to conservative, working-class parents, Chad’s exposure to a limited worldview remained constant throughout his childhood as he moved between cities in Texas where guns, oil, bigotry, and right-wing Christian values surrounded him. Moving to a different city an average of every four years continued into his adult life, now totaling 11 cities across 3 countries. With each stop came seemingly more varied and enlightened locales with entirely new philosophies.
Ever fascinated by advertising – even as a teen, Chad found himself seeking ways to influence large groups of people through entertainment and the art of persuasion. His growing need to create positive social impact and a desire to better his own life began to bubble to the surface in his work as he experimented with more subversive ways to inspire change.
After a number of collaborative art projects throughout his successful advertising career as an international creative director, Chad became a social impact artist in 2017.
Informed by media, consumerism, corporate culture, spirituality, self-help, and political and ethical issues, Chad’s work refuses to fit into convenient, traditional standards and definitions. Instead, it challenges all who experience it in myriad ways to look within themselves and try to understand this changing world.
Using a variety of materials and mediums, Chad often approaches the many sides of an issue with a singular focus on the importance of having the conversation, even if it’s with oneself.
In 2014, Chad moved back to Texas (Austin) with his dog Ringo, a passion to explore the dichotomy of the human spirit, and a small, but manageable, addiction to Topo Chico.
1993 Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, Texas Tech University
2019 Group Exhibition, I Heart Justice, 800 Congress, Austin, TX
Group Exhibition, Brushfire Collection, Soma Vida Gallery, Austin, TX
2018 Solo Exhibition, #TheGunShow, Lewis Carnegie Gallery, Austin, TX
Solo Exhibition, Why The Long Face, Coco Robaire Gallery, Austin, TX
Solo Exhibition, Small Screen Zombies, Crabtree Roth Gallery, Austin, TX
Group Exhibition, Friending is Not Friendship, Cobalt Riesling Gallery, Austin, TX
Solo Exhibition, Upon Hearing the #News, GSD&M, Austin, TX
2016 Solo Exhibition, TRUMPS, website
2012 Group Exhibition, An Ounce of Power, Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
2011 Collaborative Project, Electricity Showroom, Open Space, Portland, OR (in collaboration with Ian Lynam, Karolina Pyrcik, Corianton Hale, and Mark Sloan)
2003-07 Collaborative Project, Project Hello, Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Park City, UT; and Black Rock City, NV (in collaboration with more than 100 amateur and professional photographers from 35 countries)
2003 Collaborative Project, Book Smarts, Los Angeles, CA and London, U.K. (in collaboration with Anthony Burrill)
2019 Virginia Vallejo and Nicolás Sánchez O’Donovan, ‘USA: Dreams and Nightmares’ , RT Spanish, airdate TBD
2019 Voyage Houston, “Meet Chad Rea”, voyagehouston.com, March 20, 2019
2018 Art Alliance Austin, “Beyond the Bio: Chad Rea”, artalliance.org, September 25, 2018