Artist Chris Klein uses light and shadow in his wonderfully detailed paintings. To see more of his work, please visit his website.
My climb towards a successful career in art has been slow but steady. I started out with local shows in the North London suburbs in England; it was more a hobby back then in the late seventies.
I started to get noticed in the eighties with more serious shows and having one of my paintings accepted by the Royal Academy of arts in London for their famous Summer Exhibition.
I wasn’t making a living from painting, but my artistic skills were put to good use in scenic painting for the theatres in London. I worked on some major productions for the West End as well as Broadway.
I moved to Canada in 1999 and married my girlfriend from Montreal. I quickly found work for the theatre there, as well as a great deal of film work.
Soon I became established with the local Galleries and started gaining more recognition. In the most recent years, I have started winning international competitions, garnering attention from galleries in Europe and America. I am now represented in Portugal and Spain as well as having representation in Montreal and Toronto. Recently, I have had shows in Romania, Portugal, Toronto and New York and have a six month show in Miami starting July 2015–the result of winning an international art competition last year.
Currently I am working on two series of paintings. The first is inspired by my work as the head of scenic art at the Stratford Festival of Canada. These are depictions of costumes that are usually hanging on the rack as well as costumes from their warehouse (the largest costume warehouse in Canada) and from the shows performed on the stages at the festival.
The other series is of recycling materials; chiefly scrapped cars at the moment, but collections of just about anything! These works could almost be abstract. I work more from the forms of light and shadow rather than what the objects are. Twisted metal or torn cardboard, it’s the forms they take that catch my eye.
These are the most complex of my works. I am still developing this series, but they already have stories within them. I like to place objects within the frame which prompt the viewer to want to know more. They are usually disconnected objects, but by imagining a link (and from sometimes ambiguous titles) the viewer creates their own story, interpreting the painting in a personal way.
I paint in my basement studio. It’s a little cramped, but with working full time for the theatre, I don’t want to lose time travelling to a studio space. This way, I can paint whenever I feel the urge, even if it’s a half hour during my lunch, or while taking my morning coffee before leaving for the theatre in the morning. I get far more done this way.
I have many projects simmering on the back burner, but I’m busy right now keeping up with the demand of my current series of paintings as well as balancing the full time job at the theatre. Keep checking my website for future developments.
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