Christopher E. Harrison is an Ohio-born fine artist, illustrator and graphic designer who has lived in the Minneapolis, MN area for over 20 years. Besides his fulltime job as a Desktop Publisher for the MN Spokesman-Recorder newspaper, he also enjoys doing freelance design work as well as exhibiting his two-and three-dimensional artworks at art venues locally, nationally and internationally.
Artist Statement - Disintegrates Series
My work exposes the foibles of the human condition visually. I place my characters in scenes of straightforward portrait compositions. My objective is to investigate their emotional state by physically disintegrating their bodies. My figures melt, rip apart, become disembodied in reaction to situations they encounter-psychological and physical become immediate, one and the same.
I use African American figures because I myself am African American and through my artistic approach I've come to this expression through living it -the distorted stereotypes and self-loathing that African Americans have been force-fed for decades through society-enduced racism, mis-education, destruction of the Black family unit and economic upheaval. So much that we have accepted it as the "norm" and have even embraced it - to the point of seeing it as being "cool." Here, I express it as a lamentation upon the dire state the African American cultural psyche, and a statement on our greater world culture as well.
I paint self-invented creatures that live out loud against societal mores, dispelling so much negative energy that decay into nothingness is inevitable. The people in my work are young only because I see the younger generations as a direct product; effected and molded by the toxic elements of our modern world and are disintegrated by it. I use painting as a medium because of its visual mutability and texture, which speaks to the metamorphic aspect in my work. The sizes of the pieces are small to mid-sized, no larger than 50 inches. I want to capture the intimacy and project a sense of claustrophobia, a key element of the emotional impact.
I disembowel my figures literally and metaphorically, dissecting them to show their humanity, go deeper than the color/race/ethnicity idea, lay bear the raw consciousness and free the anger, fear, apathy and uncertainty. In this, I hope to maybe inspire introspection.
Columbus College of Art and Design Columbus, OH B.F.A Degree - 1987
Art Academy University San Francisco, CA Graduate Program Masters of Fine Arts
Exhibition and Collection Information:
Givens Collection - University of Minnesota St Paul, MN
Al Killiow - Eden Prairie, MN
Boston Scientific – Maple Grove, MN
Bandjoun Station Cultural Center — Bandjoun, Cameroon
Public Art Commissions:
• Kingfield Neighborhood Association – 2005 Mural Project – Minneapolis, MN
• Webber Camden Neighborhood – 2006 Public Art Commission – Minneapolis, MN
• East Side Food Co-Op – 2007 Public Art Gallery – Minneapolis, MN
• Obsidian Arts Gallery – 2008 Exploding Language exhibition – Minneapolis, MN
Selected Art Exhibitions:
Gallery 13 – Summer Funk Group Exhibit 2011 Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota – The Stories Within Us 2011 Exhibit Minneapolis, MN
Van Brabson Gallery – “Two Artists” Exhibit 2010 Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Foundation – Eyes on the Northside 2009 Minneapolis, MN
Soap Factory – Soul On Ice Exhibit 2008 Minneapolis, MN
Walker Point Ctr. of the Arts – The Good, Bad & the Ugly Exhibit 2007 Milwaukee, WI
Dean Gallery – City Limits Exhibit 2007 Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Art Perchance Exhibit 2007, 08, 09,10 Minneapolis, MN
Hamline University - Race and Identity Exhibit 2007 St. Paul, MN
Minneapolis Foundation – Race and Identity Exhibit 2007 Minneapolis, MN
Afrofuturism National Art Exhibition /Group Exhibit 2005 Minneapolis, MN
Arad Biennale International Art Exhibition 2005 Arad, Judetul Arad, Romania
The Lennox Gallery Group Exhibition 2004 - London, England
IAM 2003 JVC Jazz Festival Group Exhibition 2003 - New York City, NY
Art Action Network Gallery Exhibition 2003 - San Francisco, CA
Obsidian Arts 2004 - Minneapolis, MN • Tyler Street Gallery 2005 – Minneapolis, MN
Art In The Mayor’s Office 2006 – Minneapolis, MN • Emerge 2007 Minneapolis, MN
Emerge 2007, 2010 Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota State Arts Board 2006 – Community Cultural Partnership Grant
Jerome Foundation 2009 – Blacklock Artist Residency Grant
Minneapolis Arts Commission – board member 2008-2011