Christopher Oh

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What is my work about?

My paintings are portraits of characters inspired by images of trash, food, and the ephemera of disparaged subcultures. Playfully surreal, these collaged faces become unique personalities. They deconstruct the banality associated with garbage and low-brow culture and reflect how our society communicates complex feelings and emotions.


Artist Statement

Living and working in Bushwick Brooklyn has reshaped my notions of the American Industrial Landscape.  The urban detritus I come across on my daily commute to and from the studio now fills me with inspiration rather than disgust.  Among the piles of garbage, streams of pollution, and scattering rats, I have found “cool trash”.  Unexpectedly appealing, scraps of tin foil or a half eaten sandwich catch my eye like a diamond in the rough.  Time and decay has made this garbage unique, despite it’s familiarity as discarded, everyday items.

I am inspired by the trash I find, foodstuffs, personal vacation photographs, and ephemera from the disparaged subcultures of science fiction, horror, and comic books.  I combine these elements to create a face or character.  Part self portrait, these images become an investigation of my own psyche, as well as a reflection of our cultural climate.  An alien face celebrating individuality has become as ubiquitous in our society as a smiley face representing feelings or moods.

I want my paintings to be playful, sexy, funny, sad, bizarre, and gross.  They are my version of emojis brought to the next level.  Fueled by the nuances of facial expression they show the complexity of emotions we experience throughout our daily lives.