Chris makes deliciously mathematic, scientific, and architectural collage pieces. His collages look like they are made with such planning and precision, and yet he describes them as simple. Yes, they look simple to the untrained eye, but more work has gone into them than that, I'm sure. You can definitely tell by the arrangements and negative space that he's a designer.
Chapel Hill, NC (I am originally from Massachusetts, but have also called Michigan, Delaware, Rhode Island, Malaysia, and now Chapel Hill, NC, home.)
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Analytical, cheap, collage, fast, geometric, simple.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I tend to do most of my drawings in a cheap sketchbook, though I also make hand-bound books. (The last 30 images on my Picasa gallery come from two books I made recently. The rest of the images come from sketchbooks I've kept over the past 5 years.) The thing I like best about inexpensive sketchbooks is that the paper is pretty thin, so it keeps me from getting precious about anything I make. I also like how the page will reveal marks from the other side, which can be controlled by using different kinds of pens and layered papers. As far as the collaged material is concerned, I'll use just about anything from magazines and old books to receipts and bill envelopes. I'll also use many different pencils, pens, markers, ink, paper, stamps, glue, etc.
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started making drawings in my sketchbook that incorporated collaged elements while in high school. At that point, I was much more interested in painting and considered my sketchbook more of a practice area. However, I found myself spending more time working in the books while in college, to the point that it became a major focus of mine.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I work for Newfangled Web Factory, a web development and strategic consulting firm, by day. It may not seem so at first glance, but even management requires creativity ;-)
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2003 with a BFA in Film/Animation/Video.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I like to vary the use of collaged material from one image to another, so that one might be primarily assembled from found images while another might just be pen and ink. In other words, I don't want to be too dependent upon the found image. Other than that, my technique is pretty simple and largely design-oriented. I do tend to set up "rules" for myself at the outset, such as choosing the collaged elements first, or, in the case of the last handmade book I made, using only black and white photocopies.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: At this particular moment, I like Material in the Spirit's World, but that is likely to change by the time you publish this interview!
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: My wife Carolyn, whom I met at RISD, studied textile design and makes drawings that are heavily pattern-oriented and tend to have a whimsical mood that I could never achieve. She has a random assortment of images online on her flickr account. In terms of other artists that have influenced me one way or another, I'd mention Joseph Cornell, Al Decredico (one of my professors at RISD), Rene Magritte, Buckminster Fuller, Charles and Ray Eames, and probably a whole host of others. I did see an exhibition recently that included timelines and drawings by Lia Perjovschi that really inspired me. I tend to be very analytical, so her works of "organization" were appealing.