Superfine: The art of Colin Christian
By Matthew Bone on July 23, 2010
If you were able to teleport yourself and materialize in an intersection that happened to be where “2001”, “Barbarella”, and “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” met, you would be immediately confronted with a larger than life woman made entirely of silicone. Don’t fret, and don’t pull out your phaser; she means you no harm… you simply have arrived in the magical world of Colin Christian’s creations.
It was a balmy, sticky night in Miami the first time I was to make the acquaintance of one of Colin’s magnificent ladies. If you asked me now, I wouldn’t for the life of me be able to tell you her name, but I was bowled over by her sumptuous curves and her exaggerated proportions and immediately smitten to say the least. In town showing at Art Basel, the largest art fair in North America, I was on foreign ground, and behind these good women was a humble, gracious man who made me feel right at home. Needless to say, Colin and I have been friends since day 1.
Colin is a British transplant who grew up in the shadows of Stanley Kubrick and the smooth, spartan details of retro-futurism. His work is saturated with pop culture and drenched in sexuality. Straddling the line of fine art and design, Colin’s work is a commentary on all of the above. Whether they are adorning the stage of Kanye West’s last tour or occupying a spot in Nike CEO Mark Parker’s vaunted collection, they are right at home. His sculptures are rooted in the conventions of anime, and are akin to Murakami’s “Superflat” art movement which refers to the “flattening” of various forms of Japanese graphic art, pop culture, and fine art, for which he indeed does have an affinity. “The lines and shapes really make sense to me” Colin says, and they lend themselves in a greater way to marrying the form with function, as in the “furniture” of Allen Jones whose work is most notable for being the influence of the tables and chairs inside of the Korova Milkbar from “Clockwork Orange”. Incidentally, Christian will be introducing a line of furniture based on pollen and undersea life soon, which will bring an added dimension of functionality to his work.
A hopeful idealist, the women of Colin’s armada are the amalgams of the many beautiful icons that he grew up worshiping, sanded and painted to a shiny perfection to match the streamlined clothing and provocative space gear that adorn his ladies. Though one could dismiss the work as being too sexy or kitschy, these sculptures embody what it’s like to be a child, to see the world as a beautiful shiny egg to crack, one where sexuality, cooperation, and advancement are not hindered by closed mindedness or cynicism; basking in the embryonic glow of cinema and television has allowed Colin to create a 3-dimensional manifestation of how he sees, or hopes to see where technology, art, and science can take us. “As a species we must embrace technology in the right way, and leave this planet… When we leave our genitals will come with us, eventually spacesuits will get sexier.”
Colin’s self described “Futuristic Sexy Optimistic” art finds him embracing the evolution of his work and letting it grow and flourish in many ways, exploring his world beyond just his lovely ladies and allowing us to peek further inside his brain with every new piece. He is currently at work on a new show for the Opera Gallery in NY opening February ‘11 with his wife Sas, a gifted painter in her own right, you can see more of his (inter) stellarwork at: www.colinchristian.com.
Tweet me: @matthewebone