Christopher Mudgett’s paintings pay homage to Picasso yet manage to retain their own individuality. There’s a lot of humour in these monochromatic paintings; simple caricatures that offer up archetypes of old such as harlequins and dancing bears, old sea dogs and classical nudes.
Incredibly Mudgett brings his subjects to life with a single line, as if this exercise in control, technique, exactitude is the most important factor in the compositions. Perhaps it is for him. For me it is simply the delightful quality of his paintings, the exuberance that emanates from each and everyone of his pictures. Here’s what he has to say about his work:
Constraining my work to monochromatic renderings allows me to portray my subjects with a universality that transcends the limits, as it were, of both colour and shape. Not allowing colour to determine form, nor form to define essence, I bring an existentialist quality to my work that many artists only achieve through abstraction.
My subjects are contoured in a manner that is sometimes playful and always purposeful and my art is frequently achieved, technically, with single-line or closed-eye drawings. For me, the line is like Ariadne’s thread, leading us through the dark labyrinth of human existence.
I play with my subjects, but respect their humanity. Perfection is an abstraction; imperfect existence is an art. I bend, but do not distort, I bruise, but do not break. Through careful choice of subject, color and technique, I am able to paint an exciting and insightful portrait of universal humanity that is race-less but not faceless