Posted from The Citrus Report
Living in Seattle, you have the opportunity to see art on every corner where coffee shops, retail stores, art galleries, even government buildings hang the work of local artists. Often there are no striking resemblances or similarities between pieces or from one show to the next. Often a cultural theme will tie an artists work to his name, or even a consistent subject matter.
But in the case of Chris Sheridan, you can recognize his pieces from across a crowded group show due to his style and technique. The loose yet refined way he paints any figure as well as his use of color defines and almost brands anything he paints as “Chris Sheridan”. His show of new works named “Fondue” is coming up on September 17th 2010, the 2 Year Anniversary of the Seattle Upper Playground at the Fifty 24SEA Gallery. —Jen Vertz
TCR: Can you describe the distinct, expressive style that you have?
I think there are a few things that contribute to what ;it is that people recognize my work as. I mean I come from an illustration background and went to a really traditional school so I work with the figure really tight and put a certain amount of importance of stuff looking right. There’s that foundation, but one thing that I think makes my work stand out is the richness and depth of colors that I like to use, especially in the figure- I really like to get the full gamut in there, like every reflected light. Every little nuance that shows up in the core shadow, and of course I’m interested in reds- so I really play up the reds and oranges. But this thing I’ve been really consistent with since I’ve been really young and all my teachers tried to break me of this for a long time, to me- paint has this particular personality, a flavor- it’s got things that it wants to do. I like to put down a brush stroke and let it go. I’m all about mark making. You’ve got to have quiet parts in the painting, but when you look at mine, there is a good combination between the quiet parts and the parts with mad brush strokes. Whatever it does when that brush stroke goes down, I like to leave it, I don’t like to re-work things, and it maintains a certain freshness to the paint itself. We all have our own thing, but those things- the color and the brushstrokes I think are what makes mine stand out.
TCR: Do you only work in oils?
Yes and no. I don’ t have a thing against other art materials. I think that acrylics are one of those things that teach you how to paint- acrylics it’s sort of like you’re 12 years old and you’re having that date with your first pretty hard-core girlfriend at the time you know, you’re going to see a movie, you’re parents are driving you around, you might kiss and might talk about it later- but when you get into oils, it’s like it’s that awesome woman you meet later in life. And there are so many more things you can do- mind in the gutter or not, the conversation is better, the action is better, you’re relationship, the chemistry between the two of you is better, the person putting down the paint and how that paint then reacts to what it is you’re doing- that’s hot to me. So primarily I work in oils, but each one of them I work with charcoal underneath it. I do really rendered charcoal drawings and then waterproof them then work with oils on top of it.
TCR: I know that some of your paintings have been based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, how much of an impact does that have on the subject matter or meaning?
Pretty much everything that I have in the body of work right now is based from something. Not just Grimm’s Fairy tales, but my primary interest in creating artwork right now is based off matching things from the histories. How that story has been passed down from through the ages and how that makes me me feel now. And so weather it’s Aesop’s fables, Grimm’s Fairy tales, Homer, the Bible, the Koran, I’ve brought things from many different places and I read a little bit here and there and if something really stands out, a concept that really kicks ass and I have a person or personality that really matches up with that I take that old story weather it’s still thought of now or not, and mix it with that contemporary person with them in their surroundings now and see how it fits. A lot of these stories are things they sort of forgot about or don’t speak about, but were so important to shape our society. I like to take the little bits and pieces of it and put em in there, sort of vague, sort of complete, and take some of the symbolism from them and create these pieces so that when people come up to them they may pick it up right away. But either way, because I’m touching on those old things, it really opens up people to speaking to me about the artwork. That’s what makes it feel to me ‘alright, I’m done…’
Posted By The Citrus Report