Artist and Seventh Grader Xeo Chu Has First New York Gallery Show

His paintings have sold for over $150,000

Xeo Chu painting
Xeo Chu's "Ha Long Bay."
Xeo Chu/George Bergès Gallery

Plenty of artists — young or old, emerging or mid-career — spend years (or longer) pursuing a high-profile gallery show in New York City. A young Vietnamese artist named Xeo Chu, whose work has drawn comparisons the abstract paintings of Jackson Pollock, has just landed that laudable goal: the show “Big World, Little Eyes” opened Thursday at Manhattan’s George Bergès Gallery.

Where Chu differs from many of his peers is his age: he’s neither fresh from a lauded MFA program or someone who’s been working at their craft for a decade. This is because Chu is barely older than a decade himself. He’s a seventh-grade student whose art has drawn attention from critics and collectors around the globe.

Chu grew up around art: an article on the opening in The New York Times notes that his mother owns a gallery in Vietnam, and that he initially began painting along with his brothers. 

A feature at artnet News features quotes from both Chu and Bergès. The latter spoke of being impressed by Chu’s work, which challenged some of his assumptions about age, art and maturity. “If there is depth and complexity in a piece of work from someone who has very limited life experience, it gives you a glimpse of the universal unconscious that we all have and can tap into,” he said. 

Chu’s comments on life and art are thoroughly charming, including his admission that he doesn’t talk to his friends about the art he makes. “I don’t really tell my friends, because I thought it would be weird to come up to them and tell them I’m an artist,” he said. He also mentioned that he donates his earnings to Heartbeat Vietnam, a nonprofit which helps underprivileged children get heart surgery. 

For readers curious to see Chu’s work in person, “Big World, Little Eyes” runs through January 2.

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