Chris Oh

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Artist Statement

As a photo realist, my biggest challenge has been to figure out what to paint.  I think of myself more as an editor of images, with painting as a means of production.  My style is not determined by the manner I paint things, but the images I choose to appropriate.  Stylistically varied, a seemingly disparate collection of imagery informs aspects of my personal history and broader notions of the human condition.  Combining them with found personal items creates an anachronism that redefines the context of the original artwork while transforming the functionality of the modern materials they are painted on.  It is the tension that arises from these contradictions that i find interesting.

“Dirge” depicts Carravagio’s “Medusa” on a bed sheet. Pinned to the wall a full body portrait emerges from the folds.  She is given back a body, and the death of a creature so powerful and feared becomes reimagined in this homage to her lament.  A detail of Ingres’  “Louise de Broglie, Contess d”Haussonville” 1845, is used for “Glissando”.  Mounted atop a printed reproduction detail, a sneaker insole painted to depict the same image becomes a device that creates a surrealist portrait while questioning past notions of beauty.  Seeing a stack of paperback books on the street is as ubiquitous as a tote bag at an art fair or a stray shoe discarded in the gutter.  Cherished for their content and literally loved to pieces, a worn book carries so much history and emotion. I take away much of the publishing text to isolate the relationship between the cover image and title.  No longer constrained by the context of a book’s nature, the associations between image and text become intensified and more abstract.  Changing the scale becomes a contradiction of the book’s nature as the characteristics of such wear and tear is determined by the physical properties of being hand held.  A folded back cover or being crammed into a backpack is not how one normally treats something that is cherished.  Using trompe l’eoil techniques to render such damage gives these paintings an air of deep familiarity.  It is a signifier of our connection to a book’s history as an individual object, despite being a copy of a mass produced edition.



2004 BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY


The Source, Youth Group Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Shift, By and By, Brooklyn NY
Light, Movement, Color, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn NY


Summer Reading, Fortnight Institute, New York, NY
My Super Sweet 16, 2Bed 2Bath, Brooklyn NY
Painter Production Parity, Small Editions, Brooklyn NY
Subcurrent. Galerie Manque, Brooklyn NY
World Update, Brain Dead Pop-Up, Dover Street Market London, London UK
Philip H Ashley & Chris Oh, Safe Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Days Gone By, Galerie Manque, Brooklyn NY
Maybe I’m Amazed, Knockdown Center, Maspeth NY
Blood Suckers: A Show About Vampires, Good Work Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Chris Oh, Andy Mister, Eric Elms, Heath West, Joe Garvey, Freight Elevator,Brooklyn NY
Art Pow Wow Launch Pop-Up, New York NY
Salon Society 2, Salon Society, Brooklyn NY
Take It Easy, Dubrovnik Contemporary, Dubrovnik Croatia
Ryobi Room 4, Curated by B. Thom Stevenson and Philip H. Ashley, Brooklyn NY
SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Curated by Jo Shane and Philip H. Ashley, NewYork NY
Ryobi Room Miami, Ryobi Room, Miami FL
Don’t Flee The Art Market, Postmasters Gallery, New York NY
First Communion, Youth Group Gallery, Brooklyn NY
One Size Fits All, On Stellar Rays, New York NY
Frenetic Grace, Igloo Gallery, Portland OR
Mystic Truths, Eckhaus, Kutztown, PA