From a very young age, Christopher displayed a strong interest in art. When he was nine, his grandmother took him to view the Barnes Collection in Dallas, where he had a first taste of what was possible in painting. His first encounter with great masters such as Van Gogh, Cézanne and Picasso opened his eyes to the possibility of what art could do, not only for the human spirit but, also as a way of transforming abstract ideas into something that could be universally shared and understood. However, his journey into the visual arts world did not begin until 2011, after a 15-year career in music, he felt the need for a more immediate and direct form of self-expression to satisfy his creative impulses.
His work is spontaneous. Mudgett says, “Painting is not meant to illustrate a drawing, but to let the medium (oil paint) speak for itself.” He sees the beginning of every new work the same way a soldier would going in to battle, the stakes are very high. His art lives and dies on the canvas and inspires him to triumph over his doubts and fears to be victorious. Mudgett draws maximum inspiration from life itself. The people with whom he corresponds daily, the ideas and beliefs that are closest to his soul, love in his heart and the doubts and fears he has of himself. The beauty around him, human pain and suffering, love and lust inspire all his creations. By creating works of art that decode the mystery of life, Mudgett feels he is unintentionally discovering our motives as a society and in our humanity as a whole.
Mudgett does not deliberately decide on the subjects of his work. They are the ones that are more coherent in his mind, or themes taken from everyday life that stay in his thoughts and occasionally appear in his dreams. Art is therefore an inner look of one’s soul and consequently the external manifestation of our being. Looking at some of his paintings, two examples of which show a strong presence of white and black colors, and the reason and meaning of this monochrome style are not just aesthetic.
For him, black and white, two opposite extremes of the visual spectrum, represent the duality that man lives in his life: night/day, good/bad, love/hate, life/death etc. Mudgett is constantly being pushed and pulled in both directions. “Duality is our existence, you cannot have one extreme without the other also being present.
We are a product of these oppositions within and although sometimes these two forces reject each other, they also attract by nature.” The shapes and volumes of the subjects represented are reduced to simple, continuous lines or geometric volumes of clear cubist ascendancy, typical of Picasso and Braque.
Since 2012, Mudgett has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and art fairs across the country. Most recently LA Art Show & Art Basel Miami. His artwork is currently held in private collections around the world, including North & Central America, Great Britain, Singapore, Denmark, Spain, Germany, France & China.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I believe the biggest hurdle an artist must overcome is himself. We all have the potential within us to be great. The work we must do is to transcend the fears, doubts and inhibitions which hold us back and create art for the sake of self-expression and of sharing with the world our unique gifts.
Interviewed by Leo Collins for Voyage Magazine. Click here for original article.