Marc was born into a world filled with art. Marc’s father, Roman Chatov and his uncle, Constantin Chatov were born in Russia, the children of a theater impresario, and grew up surrounded by artists, musicians and actors. The brothers fled to NY in 1922 to escape the Russian revolution. Roman was a renowned portrait and figure painter. President Roosevelt’s Works Project Administration commissioned him to paint murals during the depression. One of his most notable works is his mural commissioned for New York’s Russian Tea Room, which is currently in the New York City Museum collection. Constantin was a concert pianist until an injury to his hand led him to follow his artistic passion into the world of painting. He also became an acclaimed painter. The brothers were commissioned by MGM to paint portraits of Hollywood greats such as Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh. They moved to Atlanta in 1961 and became prominent figures in the art community, both being honored with the Governor’s Award of Georgia.
Marc has always been fascinated with design and color. As a child, a box of crayons (the big box) was a magical experience. At a very early age, Marc “impressed” his father by covering the entire house in crayon murals. Later, he was enthralled as he watched Roman paint and was often a model for his paintings. Despite being on one side of the easel or the other, Marc didn’t begin to seriously consider making a career of art until he was 18. As a fine art major at Georgia State University, Marc studied drawing under the late James Sitton, who was acclaimed for his drawing and anatomy instruction. Marc speaks of his inspiration from great masters such as Velazquez, Degas and John Singer Sargent. He also studied at the Art Students League in New York under Michael Burban and briefly with Nelson Shanks. Marc began a serious apprenticeship with his father and uncle in his early twenties and started taking on portrait commissions.
Marc is represented by Portraits, Inc. in New York and has been with Portrait South since 1987. He is a member of The Salmagundi Club of New York, Oil Painters of America, Portrait Society of America, and is an Advisory Board Member with the Portrait Society of Atlanta. He has painted many notable portraits including Senator Paul Coverdell whose portrait hangs in the Atlanta Capital and most recently the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame inductee; Dr. Ferrol Sams. Money Magazine featured Marc as one of the top eight portrait artists in the country. “In my portraiture, it has to be a good painting, not just a likeness.” Marc has received the Governor’s Artist of Excellence Award and his works can be found in museums and galleries around the country as well many private and corporate collections such as Emory University, Hans Frabel, University of Georgia and King & Spalding.
Throughout his career, Marc has been an instructor. He started teaching as an assistant to Roman and Constantin and gradually took over the classes in 1984. Today he is a Fellow at The Bascom and The Hambidge Center for the Arts. Still devoted to his students, Marc regularly conducts classes and workshops. Marc states that his first love is color and he believes in a strong knowledge of drawing and anatomy. He begins his work by drawing with paint and prefers to paint alla prima because it keeps a spontaneous approach to his subject. Nonetheless, his finished works carry great detail. Working from darks to lights, he develops texture and color using a weaving technique of brushstrokes. “Color is paramount to me as I develop the painting on a whole.” With love and admiration in his eyes Marc quotes his father; like Roman always said, “in art, first one becomes a master, then an artist, and finally, a student.”