Artwork that Pops

“Whatever obstacle I see, I tend to knock it down.”

Chris is one of those quintessential guys that knows what he likes and loves it whole-heartedly. This enthusiasm is evident in all of his artistry, from his acrylic and digital paintings, to his choreography and writing. A fan of pop-culture and sports, Chris draws inspiration from his favorite media to fuel his creative pursuits.

Chris joined Arts Access 19 years ago at age 13. Since then, his style has grown and evolved but retains the passion and boldness that defines his work. In visual mediums, Chris is drawn to the intensity of dark colors, though in recent years brighter color palettes have emerged in his work. He has a proclivity for the splatter technique when working with acrylic paints. “I like it because it’s like life,” he says. “You don’t dictate where the paint goes. It goes where it wants.” Chris discusses and demonstrates the splatter technique in more detail in the documentary Into the Light, which highlights the experiences of Chris and two other artists in the Arts Access Program (jump to 14:20 in the video to see Chris’s process in action).

Recently, Chris’ work in the performing arts has received a lot of attention. Most notably, Chris’ first full length play was presented at this year’s Plays by People event, part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s annual Stages Festival. Chris and his play, Band on the Run, were featured in news articles (like this one on NewJerseyStage.com) and interviews (like this one from the Culture Vultures podcast). The audience was delighted by the play and Chris has already started work on the sequel.

When it comes to choreography, Chris has developed his own style of “stage combat” which he likes to employ in pieces inspired by fighting games like Mortal Kombat. His patience and precision are exemplified in this medium, as he takes care to make sure that each move is executed precisely as he envisions it. Chris has also developed choreography to honor performers who are important in his life, such as a Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and the King of Pop, himself, Michael Jackson. It was actually a full-length concert that Chris built, combining the efforts of both the dance program and music therapy, in tribute to the life of Michael Jackson that served as Chris’ first foray into choreography. A recording of that tribute concert, MJ Lives, is now up on the Arts Access Vimeo.

Other places you can find Chris and his work include the new Arts Access overview video, the Matheny Matters magazine (the Summer/Fall 2018 and the Winter/Spring 2019 issues in particular have some good features on Chris), and in the literary collections “Writes of Passage” and “Guy Talk”, as well as several other news articles throughout the years. Chris has also had his visual and performance art showcased at Arts Access’ signature biennial event, Full Circle, many times. His paintings have even been displayed at prominent venues, such as Johnson & Johnson in Raritan, NJ.

“Arts Access is a way for me to express myself.”

We are so proud to have Chris here as one of our artists at Arts Access. To stay up to date with what Chris and all of our other artists are achieving, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.