Christopher Rodrigues is a painter, born in England, who currently lives and works in Vancouver. His practice investigates the fringes of painting where it overlaps with collage, photography, drawing, sculpture, the digital image, video and performance. Christopher's practice is informed by a lifelong fascination in science fiction and mythology, as well as issues concerning personal, social, cultural, sexual and political identity. He has exhibited at galleries across Canada and the United States, and his work can be found in the permanent collection of the Vancouver General Hospital and at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver, as well as private collections.
About the Painting
Waves & Bathers is a 12' X 8' painting collage that connects two ongoing series of Bathers and Waves. The rich textured surface is constructed through layering new paint and canvas with repurposed fragments of old paintings. In the upper third of the painting a small wave followed by a giant second wave, crashes towards the viewer. As these massive waves approach, three bathers remain on the beach, oblivious to the catastrophe on the horizon. One self-consumed figure stares out at the viewer, while two other figures fight over a scrap of meat. This work now serves as a haunting visual memory of a time when an urgent warning about a looming catastrophe may have helped us adapt. The timeframe that this work was produced (November 2019 - March 2020) is critical when considering the content. Half a year ago, pandemics, viruses, masks, social distancing, first and second waves and many other terms that have become part of our everyday language, were primarily ideas connected to science-fiction rather than our everyday reality. Reflecting on this work makes me feel like some of the science fiction ideas that I have been so fascinated by, are now real.
Waves & Bathers, 2020
Acrylic & Canvas, 12' x 8'
About the Series
This painting bridges two ongoing series of paintings; the Bather series and Wave series. Initially the paintings in these series aimed to be visual considerations of simple life pleasures; the happiness when feeling the warm sun on the skin of a bather, how the repetitive, meditative crash of a wave invigorates the spirit. As the works evolved the medium shifted from standard paint on canvas to explore painting collage. The focus when disassembling old canvases was to value the initial creative energy, while accepting that these paintings were redundant to my current practice. The Bather series continued a focus on surface and texture while almost eliminating colour; choosing the raw canvas side of the painting fragments over the painted side. These raw canvas bathers became a response to my daily bombardment of punchy advertising and dizzying visual pollution in the city and online, creating a positive visual space to rest, recharge and reflect.