Created by Troy Little.
Chiaroscuro is the story of Steven Patch, an unemployed artist with a single blank canvas. Steven is busy living the introspective, angst-ridden life of your average twenty-something; drinking too much and complaining about his situation while doing little to improve it. A case of mistaken identity pushes Steven into a flow of events that brings him places he’d never imagined and forces him to make a choice between art and mere existence.
Lofty as his artistic goals are, his daily grind is anything but. Smoking, drinking and one-night standing, Steven’s routine is firmly grounded in the realm of twenty-something hedonism. But when he runs into Eddy, an old college pal who has made a name for himself in the art world, Steven’s insecurity leads him to question his slacker lifestyle.
That self-doubt is overshadowed by a black eye when a case of mistaken identity brings two goons into Steven’s apartment, beating him up and asking about the last guy who lived there. It’s not the only strange thing to happen to Steven lately—he’s witnessed a murmuring apparition and his apartment building seems to be empty… except for him. He knows he is caught in the middle of something… but the nature of the mystery is as elusive as his artistic muse.
Still reeling from the bizarre assault, Steven receives an invite to a grand art gala hosted by Eddy. It’s an opportunity to hob-nob with the elites of the art scene, though Steven’s anti-everything attitude makes him immediately suspicious of the stuffy crowd. He starts to cheer up when a former fling shows up at the event, until a slew of suspiciously strange occurrences occur as the night wears on. Giant beetles, a ghostly girl, and the specter of his apartment’s former tenant all drive Steven to unravel the truth behind his own unlimited potential.
Praised by critics, Chiaroscuro explores quarter-life ennui with wit, humor, and a bit of mystery. A strangely compelling, mostly picaresque, slice-of-life dramady that abruptly right-turns on twinges of propinquity, synchronicity and quasi-paranoia. Clerks meets Kafka in a frequently funny and slightly dark study of what it means to be—or want to be—an artist.