Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chris Crites & Anthony Weber

February 1- 27th 2008
Paper Boat is pleased to announce the opening of their next show featuring Seattle artist Chris Crites and Baltimore based artist Anthony Weber, opening Friday February 1st with the opening reception running from 7-10pm. Anthony Weber will be in attendance.

Curator Faythe Levine first stumbled across Chris Crites “bag paintings” in Seattle, WA at the Blue Bottle Gallery & Boutique. Struck by the choice of subject matter, color palette and of course, the brown paper bag it was painted on, Crites paintings made an immediate impact on Levine. These criminals from the past, forgotten and hid away in the system, brought to life by Crites hand. Levine found herself wanting to know more information about each man and women of the underworld in Crites collection. Paper Boat will have 15 original paintings on display as well as limited edition prints and card sets.

Showing along with Crites is Anthony Weber, a mixed medium artist from Racine, WI currently working and residing in Baltimore, MD. Levine met Weber at the first Art vs. Craft in Milwaukee where he was selling limited edition prints and original paintings. She is pleased to welcome him home to Wisconsin for his first show in Milwaukee since 2005. Weber received his B.A. in 2004 with a concentration in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. His listing of solo and group shows include KM art Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, Working Dog Art Gallery in Racine, WI, Reversible Eye Art Gallery in Chicago, IL and Supreme Trading in Brooklyn, NY.

Check out Chris Crites work HERE
Artist Statement
Years ago I saw a book of black and white crime photographs from the past. I found it amazing. The characters and crime scenes looked like surreal glimpses into the history of human interaction. Much more intriguing for me were the mug shots. Portraits of people who had just been caught. Despair, frustration, anger – so many expressions could be read on the faces. Each one of these images has a story. Often times I have no idea what the real story is, but it’s hard not to make one up. One of the reasons I paint them is to bring out another possible story, for people to look at and think about. The majority of the images I base my paintings on are from the 1890’s through 1950’s.

Originally I began using charcoal and white conte´ crayon on paper bag. The way the wrinkles, folds and texture added to the piece really appealed to me. In 1999 I painted my first 4 mug shots in acrylic on paper bag with a limited palette of 5 colors each. Paper bag has been my main substrate ever since. Brightly colored acrylics have a different effect on the brown bag than on a typical white backing.

I try to bring new life to these practically discarded portraits of criminal and human history. Using an everyday, disposable item as the surface gives new life to the bag as well. It is my hope to get people thinking about the past, their present, and how we all affect both.

Check out Anthony Weber's work HERE
Artist’s Statement:
For the most part, I consider my artwork to be a personal exploration. It is a method for self discovery and grasping a better understanding of life in general. I consider my style to be the result of a complete bastardization of influences. Over the years I’ve developed an iconography filled with multiple and evolving meanings. Recurring themes in the form of severed body limbs, knives, teeth, etc. populate my work. There is no one-to-one relationship between these forms and their meanings. Subject matter comes from personal experience, emotions, desires and thoughts about my surroundings. My work is deliberately crude and raw. If my hands are shaky I allow for the shaky line to come through. I have no desire to use devious imitative or flashy drawing techniques to reproduce reality. I am more interested in experimenting with abstract mark making in order to explore a convulsive beauty. I am attracted to the unconventional and not the tried and true. I am a nontraditional printmaker. I consider the process of printmaking to be a form of drawing. I often go back and forth between printing and drawing until I’m satisfied with the image. I tend to dwell on a darker side of life and often my work is confused to have a violent nature. Any violence I do include within my work I consider to be to the extreme of a cartoon. My artwork is in a constant state of evolution. The future of my artwork is only limited by my imagination and my dedication to constantly make image after image.

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