The expressive, realist paintings of Contemporary painter Christopher M. remind us that artistic talent fused with good old-fashioned values never goes out of style. Creativity, beauty, integrity and hard work are constant companions to this artist’s paint and canvas.
Born in 1975 in Oakland, California, as a child Chris always had a penchant for drawing and painting. But he never considered being an artist a viable vocation until he entered a contest in his senior year of high school to win a semester scholarship to an art school. His portfolio prevailed and was awarded the scholarship and Christopher M has never looked back. The artist exclaims, “Once I got to art school and began studying painting and drawing from life, I was hooked. Since then I have never wanted to do anything else.”
Educated at the noted Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Christopher M. graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration in 2000. He earned awards and honors from the Academy for his sketchbook, figure painting, landscapes and still life works. He also earned accolades from the San Francisco Society of Illustrators of which he is a member.
When asked about his inspirations and internal motivations for creating his art, Christopher M pauses introspectively and states, “Generally speaking, I would like my paintings to communicate my own sense of morality, my sense of what is true and honest and what is really of value in life.” And just as this artist constantly strives to improve his craft, his desire to become a more compassionate and understanding person is the guiding force of this artistic growth. “My motives matter a lot to me as an artist. Whatever kind of work I do, as long as I know I’m trying hard to make it good work is fine with me”, the artist humbly declares. As his everyday experiences influence his growth as a person, in a sense they are also present in his paintings.
The artist will attest that his “somewhat old-fashioned aesthetic” is born of his reverence for the realist painters of the past, mainly: John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, George Bellows, William Bouguereau and Gustav Klimt. While Chris values the artistic traditions of the past he strives to carry them forward with a more expressive style akin to his own contemporary ideals. The artist states, “I feel that art can come from a traditional background and still advance, be modern and current with our society today.”
He credits his contemporary influences to the works of Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Pablo Picasso. And although he claims these artists’ works do not influence his painting directly, he is moved by their ability to assemble their thoughts and experiences directly into their imagery. And that is something he is motivated to achieve in the development of his own work as well.
His most recent passion is that of capturing the culinary arts. Christopher M. creates drama in sharing his personal appriciation for a job well done. “Like a Master Chef striving to create culinary excellence, he needs the same proper tools, training and passion as any fine artist to create a thing of beauty for someone else’s consumption.” The images fluid with motion, captures a stream of consciousness stemming from the artists appreciation for the hard work and creativity that goes into any appreciable art form.
Oil paint is his medium of choice for its dexterity and luminous longevity. He credits his subdued color palette and proclivity for harmonious color as a reflection of his “restrained personality”, yet the result is an added aura of mystery and romance to his beautifully stylized compositions. The artist’s accomplished background in illustration lies the foundation for all of his work. His skilled drawing techniques united with strategic and graceful placement of color have produced a prolific collection of artwork that is sure to be lauded in the finest of art circles.
Christopher M.’s paintings possess a seductive splendor unique to most work of this genre. His fresh perspective of an old discipline is one that will surely stand the test of time. With hope and intentions for growth, we will watch the evolution of this young artist.