Vanessa has referred to the process of her abstract work as shedding skin, as streams of words and images peel layers toward an authentic place from which she feels and interacts more vividly with life. Her work has been featured in prominent private collections, art publications and public exhibitions. She has been a featured artist in galleries throughout New York; in DUMBO, Tribeca, Chelsea, and was recently selected as one of the ‘Bearden 100’ tribute to artist Romare Bearden launched at The Rush Arts Gallery. Agora Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, New York City said this about her work: “Vanessa Chakour’s kinetic works are about freedom: freedom to think, freedom to feel, freedom to remember, freedom to meditate, freedom to explore and freedom to move forward. Her images function as politically, culturally aware streams of consciousness, at once reacting to the injustices of recent history and the lively kinesthesia of daily life.”

Vanessa recently created a musical language of symbols and images for feature film, Her Composition about the process of creation. She is currently working on, Life Is But a Dream with her brother; musician, Alex Chakour. The project is an exploration of their dreams through music and images. She has used her artwork to raise funds and awareness for organizations such as the War Resisters League and The J Dilla Foundation. Vanessa is constantly creating, and teaches workshops through Sacred Warrior, which she founded as an integration of her work.


I’ve always been interested in the internal world. The creative process has helped me look within and reveal  parts of myself that had been hidden, explore thoughts and emotions, and move from inner turbulence to tranquility. Growing up in a family of musicians, music has inspired my work and social perspective as long as I can remember. Many images in my art are visual interpretations of sound. The work is energetic and often detailed, emerging with tiny unedited words, images, layers and movement, while inside I create stillness. My style of ‘Visual Verse’ emerged when I began emptying my mind onto my work through release in non-stop stream-of-consciousness writing. ‘Look,’ in the Visual Verse gallery is an example. My Hendrix piece, ‘Fly On’  that is created in his lyrics emerged from that style. The tiny words continue and many are buried under my abstract pieces. If you look closely at much of my abstract work, you’ll see sentences hiding underneath. Lately, I’ve been exploring drawing with my left hand. Its been wanting to… so, these days it does the outlines and larger areas, and my right comes in with the detail.