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Chris Crewe

Biography

 I love working with the plasticity and permanence of acrylic paint, it lets me bring my ideas into a world where I control the environment, flow, and color.  I paint quite quickly and enjoy the dance which happens between my brush and the bounce of the canvas. 


Searching for non-traditional brushes in Chinatown, Garage sales, and Dollar Stores I collect many tools which make interesting marks on a canvas.  My collection includes a fireplace brush, a silicone basting brush, toilet scrubbers, a sledgehammer and various types of paint rollers. 


I build the color dynamic of each work by spreading layer upon layer of colors ranging from black and white to beyond fluorescent, they interplay with each other creating complex surfaces which will enhance the final strike. I am able to control the sledgehammer as if it was a delicate horsetail brush performing a heavy and clumsy type of calligraphy. 


Sometimes I fill small vessels with paint and destroy them in different ways to create marks, and other times I pour paint directly on the hammerhead before the strike. The sledgehammer often has so many layers of paint it ends up looking like a cartoon birthday cake with a leaning tower of colorful icing. I carefully raise the hammer over my head and strike down on each clowns eye …. BANG! The result is a multi-colored explosion which often pierces a hole through the work causing a dent in the wooden floor below.  Paint hues race and reach outward from the center, violent splashes of paint spread and twist across each composition bouncing and crashing across the surface creating a small miracle captured in time giving the clown its final character. 

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