Chapman earned a bachelor of science and bachelor of arts at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky in 1984 and then completed a master of fine arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Fine Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Chapman's work is largely figural, with posed subjects looking back at the viewer and displaying sometimes macabre physical alterations to their natural bodies, creating a surreal effect. Luminous painted backgrounds consisting of layers of oil paint and gold leaf push the subjects forward and evoke a mythical context. In earlier works he painted on copper and brass panels to achieve similar effects.
Chapman's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the South and has been included in international exchanges such as a 1996 exhibition in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the 2003 Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte Contemporanea, in Florence, Italy. His works are in the collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and others. He has also received several working fellowships, including two from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. He is represented by BECA Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana.