“Mommy, do you know what that is? It’s a girl, holding an umbrella, trying to open it in the wind and the rain. And see that patch of blue in the corner? That’s the rain. It’s coming!” This was said to me, quite out of the blue, by our six year old son in October 2017. “Is it?”, I responded. “Yes, it is”, he answered with absolute certainty along with a healthy mix of just-so-you-know attitude. I stared for a while but couldn’t see what he could. That is the crux of abstract art in general and Chris’ work in particular. There are an infinite number of possible shapes and images in one of his works, and there is no “right” one. Everyone who looks at one of his pieces has a unique experience, even if they come to similar conclusions. In a figurative painting of, say, a tree, a person can look and admire it. It may remind them of a favorite childhood tree or of the beauty of nature. But Chris’ work involves more direct involvement since the viewer must actually decide what they are looking at. It doesn’t even have to be an object; it could be something like anger or happiness. It’s collaborative, an experience with the artist. It’s a small journey, one worth going on again and again. Some of his works have been hanging in our house for years and I am still finding bits that I’ve never noticed before. The work hasn’t changed, my perspective on it has. Amazing.
Below is the painting, “The Red Dress”. It is absolutely one of my favorites.