Talking Art, Culture & Hip Hop

I stepped into the radio station to talk culture, art, and hip hop with Lakeshore Public Radio’s Sarah Opat On the Radar.  click the link.

Chantala 3


Educated Fools


educated fools cover

Over 12 years of my life I wrote rhymes and layered them over jazzy beats with my best friend Ubiquity. “Educated Fools” is our 5th release and  marks the end of Maintenance Crew. I personally would like thank all the fans who lend us your good ears and supported the art since day one. Give the last songs a listen, it’s available now on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Youtube and all streaming services. If you would care to support the music you could help by purchasing Maintenance T’s and limited edition giclee art prints with comes with free digital copies of the new album at

Book Release



I am pleased to announce my first limited edition self published art book. This 40 page 8″x8″ hardcover book contains photographs of paintings I’ve done from 2010 through 2016.

The edition is limited to 50 copies and they are all hand numbered and signed.


Limited Edition Prints Now Available


“Enter” is a rendition of the classic Wu Tang Clan’s “Enter the Wu Tang, 36 Chambers” album art by yours truly. This reimagined work is reproduced as a limited edition signed and numbered of 36 on a 13″x13″ giclee print on high quality 11 mil 300g Satin Luster Paper. Be 1 of 36 to own one of these beauties. Available now at my etsy store.



Elephant Room Gallery will be exhibiting new works by Chicago-based, Laotian American artist Chantala Kommanivanh with an exhibition entitled, Frontal. The exhibition opens with a reception on Saturday, October 8th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and runs through November 26th.

Chantala Kommanivanh’s new work Frontal is a collection of paintings depicting minority subjects in front of decaying and emerging backgrounds. The work investigates our encounters with cultural identity; innocence, vulnerability, racism, stereotypes, gang life and hip-hop, through portraiture. Kommanivanh extracts the figure from its urban landscape and exaggerates its “realism” in mixed media, layered with drawn and painted graffiti marks. Frontal has glimpses of photographic clarity combined with colorful and, at times, aggressive abstractions. The paint drips signify the merging and separation of emotional conflicts and the struggle between the figure, its environment, and the viewer.

Frontal will be on exhibition at Elephant Room Gallery’s South Loop location at 704 S Wabash Ave. Viewing hours for the exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website:


Got a chance to chop it up with LaStory “Breakin’ Barriers” Hosted by Sengvilay “Kid Jungle” Aphay. We discussed growing up and being only one of the first Laotian in his neighborhood of Chicago and the push and pull of being Lao and American.

“Sabai, Sabai” Solo Exhibition June 12th, 2015

sababi flyer website

Nych Gallery is very proud to present new paintings by Chantala Kommanivanh “Sabai, Sabai”, June 12- July 3, 2015. The opening reception is Friday June 12, 6-10pm. Artist will be present.

After the United States pulled troops out of the Southeast Asian conflict in 1975, many Laotians were scattered across the world as refugees. “Sabai, Sabai” is Kommanivanh’s visual documentation of the Lao American diaspora in Chicago, as 2015, marks their 40th anniversary. His figurative and abstract paintings are a combination of mixed media, oil, and spray paint on traditional canvas that both commemorate and inform viewers about displaced Laotians longing for a place in urban society.

This work is inspired by his family’s migration to Chicago as political refugees, and the struggle with dual identity they shared with many Laotian Americans. Influenced by his hip-hop upbringing, Kommanivanh sampled traditional Lao textile design, and re-presented it by overlapping graffiti marks on top of gestural impressions creating rhythmic dancing pattern.

We hope you could join us welcome Chantala Kommanivanh’s new paintings at Nych Gallery.

The gallery is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-7pm and by appointment.

Nych Gallery // 643 w. 18th st. Chicago IL, 60608 //























My fourth solo exhibition “Like a Zenith” is scheduled to open August 8th, 2014 at Nych Gallery Chicago and will run through September 1, 2014.



photo credits: Mark Francis

**NEW **Maintenance Crew Video – Light Box (color theory)

This video was filmed years ago and never before released and due to Light Box’s personal content i kept it in the vault until now. It was about time i came to terms and except everything beautiful dies in winter. Light Box is one of my favorite tracks off the 4th Maintenance Crew album “The Collapse of a Mcdonaldlize Society” (available on ITUNES). Take a look…