From the catalog foreword by Kris Kuksi:
“In his debut show at Stephen Romano gallery, Colin Christian’s work sets the audience up for confrontation. With either a reaction of instant repulsion or a desire to tend to gaping, teeth-filled sores, the exhibition seems as though for ‘freaks only’. Far from the pin-up gal or anime charged figures, but the influence of science fiction lingers and the perfection of flesh presents itself from yet another perspective.
“The viewer meets these works mid-cycle of injury where a sensation of the tightening, scabbing process is taking place as a result from coagulating fluid secretions. One could spar over the statement that these works relate to the process of healing. Yet, another twist holds the question: could this actually still be in the venue of a cyber erotic play that just digs a bit deeper, forgetting the superficiality perfection of skin and dives into what happens when the flesh is pierced and broken?”
Allison C. Meyer adds in her essay:
“2014 was a bleak year. Ebola, accounts of CIA-supported torture, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the missing girls of Nigeria, the violence of ISIS, extreme police brutality, and a seemingly endless procession of such news cast dark shadows over a hopeful future. “I found it difficult to reconcile poppy mod-inspired forms with the news and and my mindset during the year,” Christian explains. “My career has mostly featured an idealized cartoon version of reality, but I decided to strip that surface away, to deconstruct everything that I had been so careful to construct in the first place.
“Revealed by that dissection is something festering beneath the pristine façade. The work of Christian’s TRYPOPHOBIA exhibition is Lovecraftian in its creation of visuals that are almost hard to look at all at once, but difficult to explain why. Trypophobia is a pathological fear of holes, especially those packed close together in irregular formations that stir a physical revulsion. Like our shuddering disgust in viewing a rotting corpse, even when there is no actual danger, trypophobia seems to be rooted in some biological fear, where holes suggest danger. Maybe something is hiding inside; maybe you will fall in. “
Excepted from an interview by Samuel D. Gliner included in the exhibition catalog:
SG What inspired you to create the genesis of the body of work, “TEETH”, and what are your thoughts on why it went so viral?
CC For most of my art career I have specialized in optimistic futurism, an idealized cartoon future where we finally got our shit together, our worries were over apart from how sexy our spacesuits should be, but the past several years of news events seemed to make those ideas not only too idealistic but actually pointless, it felt fake to carry on in that way, simply put, I was not happy. So instead I tapped into how I really felt, with a punk attitude of “I don’t give a shit” as far as how the work would be received, and to my genuine surprise the response was very positive. The word ‘ corruption’ kept ringing in my ears and the work reflects that. It’s that idea of something rotten underneath the facade, something to be picked at, squeezed out, removed…..I felt a weird sense of relief in creating Teeth, I think though that it triggered a physical response in the viewer, I kept reading things like ” it’s horrible, but I can’t look away”, an impulse to physically interact with the piece, to alter it, very strange.
SG Has the theme for your current exhibit altered your creative process in any way, and how has that affected you?
CC Yes, very much so. Normally a show would take anything from six months to a year to prepare, but as the subject matter was a polar opposite from my usual fare, I decided to attack the work in a different way as well, so the construction lacks my usual finesse, I wanted something more urgent, looser in technique than I normally do, it has taken some getting used to, I am constantly resisting the urge to keep refining each piece until it’s perfect, here, I’m looking for the opposite of perfection.
Colin Christian” TRYPOPHOBIA”
Opening reception January 3 2015 6 – 8 pm
The artist will be present.
Producer Lola Rephann aka Dakini9
6:00 – 9:00pm
Live Spfx Make-up Art:
Kalyana Thiru and Fashion team
6:00 – 9:00pm
continues through February 28 2015
at: Stephen Romano Gallery
111 Front Street Suite 208 Brooklyn NY 11201
646 709 4724 Gallery Hours Wed – Sat 12 – 6 or by appointment
www.romanoart.com York Street on F line, High Street on A line.