Paintings by Chris Wyrick, composed on billboard for rough reference
ABC ART Baja California Proposal
The Construction of a Billboard Size Frame, painting and Installation of a mural called an Intervention. Distressed as though it was made a long time ago. Either it can be installed on a billboard or on an available wall.
The billboard is one of the most American forms of visual communication. Large and selling something by the highway to people in cars who don’t have time to spare.
In contrast, the mural tradition in Mexico is about sharing historic and mythological narratives through time in public spaces. They need to be taken in slowly.
To engage the clash of American and Mexican cultures in Baja I propose to create or repurpose a billboard in Todos Santos with imagery from cinema, a medium for storytelling that crosses all cultural boundaries. However, products of Hollywood could be seen as either aspiration or colonial.
I came to painting from film stills years ago in an attempt to capture the magic of my childhood inspiration from the films of Spielberg, Lucas and Coppola. These pioneering filmmakers explored dualism through the conflict of the self with the other, good vs. evil, resident vs. alien - creating a contemporary dialectic with the public. The notion of a ’still’ mural embraces both the stillness of the formerly moving picture and also the ‘still there’ semi-permanence of the image.
The still image as a painting explodes from an advertisement to highlight the absurdity of this motion picture at rest, frozen in commercial space.
“Through various media, I am exploring the dialectical relationships in our lives: the self to the other; parent to child; past to future; reason to absurdity; corporation to consumer; black to white; good to evil.”
Chris Wyrick is a painter from Charleston, SC. He studied classics, geology, religion, and painting at St. John’s College, NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), and at Davidson College. He worked as an apprentice to painter Jack Beal in New York City and studied at the New York Academy of Art before receiving his MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. He relocated his studio to Los Angeles in 2011.
Wyrick works in a wide variety of media and his artwork draws inspiration from many sources. Recurring themes in his work are transformation and duality - the polarities in our world that both divide us and unite us. His paintings are often based in natural forms, though he also works with images from photography and film. He embraces the dialectic of collaboration in the creative process and welcomes the opportunity to partner with other artists and designers.
In addition to working with more traditional drawing and painting media, Wyrick has invented a medium of drawing with checkerboard. He started drawing this way as a teenager as a mechanism to focus during classes in prep school, but it has grown over the years into a more politically charged means of expression. “The black and white of checkerboard is a divided line - a broken vocabulary - that I use to explore the shared and often divisive symbols and icons in our world.”
Chris splits his time between his home in Los Angeles and is currently building a home in Todos Santos, BCS.
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Photo of Chris Wyrick by Will Dearborn