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I believe we are storytellers by nature. It takes stories to make us human; it takes stories to keep us human. We have always looked to the stars and created heroes and myths, stood before the ocean and interpreted its mysteries to make gods and monsters. I tell stories with gesture and form, surface and texture, in an attempt to convey that same sense of awe and wonder. I want people to find their own meaningfulness in my paintings rather than be concerned about meaning. In this way, we are sharing stories; discovering what makes us truly human.
My black and white paintings were created without brushes. I used wet-on-wet techniques and poured the paint onto the surface, then manipulated it with compressed air. The physical disconnection from the work lends the ephemeral quality; that sense of disembodiment and haunting.
The original inspiration was from the twists and undulations of cigar smoke in the studio. I become increasingly fascinated with ideas of dissipation and dissolution. Over the period of about 18 months, I developed my own technique to physically represent what was born in my mind's eye.
The result is both expressionist and formalist; the works conveying deep emotions (different for each viewer) while being largely process-driven. Over time, I mitigated the elements of chance and was able to be very deliberate in my compositions. The work from 2018-2019 shows new levels of mastery and control, while also letting go to improvise and explore.
Christopher Rico is an American painter living and working in Greenville, South Carolina. He has lived on both coasts and along both borders. Rico's has exhibited in New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, along with Germany, the UK and Australia.
2020 Everything that was Forever, Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, Clinton, SC
2020 Oblations and Meditations, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2017 Via Dolorosa, Narthex Gallery, New York, NY
2016 That was yesterday, that day, Coldwell Banker Caine Gallery, Greenville, SC
2020 Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, Southampton, NY
2020 Chrysalistasis, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2020 Art Goes Viral, Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville, SC
2020 Gray/Grey (Matters), Divisible, Dayton, OH
2019 Bloom: Color, Caress and Seduction, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2019 Hurt, M. David & Co., Brooklyn, NY
2018 the Idiosyncratic Pencil, Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, Clinton, SC
2018 Fiction 2: With only daylight between us, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
2017 Group Show, Drift Greenville, Greenville, SC
2017 Member show, Greenville Center for the Creative Arts, Greenville, SC
2017 Fiction 2: With only daylight between us, Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI
2017 Fiction 2: With only daylight between us, Raygun Projects, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Polsinelli, Kansas City, MO
Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC
LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis, TN
Waddell & Associates, Memphis, TN
2016 MA in Rhetoric, Visual Communication, and Digital Literacy from Clemson University
1997 BA, University of Memphis
PUBLICATIONS & AWARDS
Dwain Skinner Open Studios Fellow, Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council, 2020
Ward, Charlotte. “Sacred Space.” TOWN Magazine, Sept. 2020, pp. 38–37. Community Journals
Harrison, Tasha (2020). “Ritual Work” At Home Summer 2020. Greenville, South Carolina: Community Journals, LLC.
Landi, Ann (2018); The Value of an MFA; Vasari21.com
Landi, Ann (2018); Under the Radar; Vasari21.com
Stowe, S. Andrew, and Christopher Rico. “Write Your Title: An Experimental Conversation Concerning Arts. Methods and Some More.” EXQUISITE CORPSE: Studio Art-Based Writing Practices in the Academy, PARLOR PRESS, 2019.
Bookhardt, E.D. (2016) ‘20th Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS Essay’, Inside NOLA.
Gould, R. (2015) Decoding the abstract | ’unlimited potential’ at Lyons Wier gallery. https://culturetrip.com
Rico, C. (2009) The Forest and the Sea. 1st edn. United States: Blurb, Inc.
Rico, C. (2008) Paintings 2008. 1st edn. United States: Blurb, Inc.
RESIDENCIES & INSTRUCTION
2021 Tell the Story of Your Art in a Video, guest instructor, virtual
2019 Kipaipai Artist Workshop, Carey Institute for Global Good, Rensselaerville, NY
2019 The Art Fair Residency, M. David & Co., Brooklyn, NY
2014 Art and Chemistry (freshman experience co-taught with Professor of Chemistry), Presbyterian College, SC
The Forest and the Sea, They Say Build Productions, Producer, 2008
abstract artist, gestural abstraction, large format, calligraphic art