Through the use of bright color, spray paint, and clever distortions, Atlanta based artist Christina West’s work puts a fun, humorous and contemporary spin on a classical aesthetic.
Her most recent series, “Unmet,” consists of classical style busts, which West has built up with multiple layers of colors. On her process, she says, “I carve into their fully articulated faces, slowly exposing interior strata of color and pattern. Similar to the process of excavation, I remove material with the aim of discovering new information. But the final pieces, rather than revealing something about the figure as a portrait would, present only a flat, opaque planes.”
“I use the portrait bust format because I’m interested in the expectation we place on portraiture to reveal something about an individual’s interiority,” explains West in an artist statement. “I have always felt that making inferences about a person’s psychology or personality from physical likeness is a highly flawed practice, though we make such inferences instinctively. In the Unmet series, I create portrait busts that disrupt the impulse to read into facial features or expression by removing much of the figure’s likeness.”
Christina West is living in Atlanta, where she is an Associate Professor of Ceramics at Georgia State University. She earned her MFA from Alfred University in 2006. She has extensively exhibited her work across the country in venues such as the The Bellevue Arts Museum (Bellevue, WA), The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), the Zuckerman Museum of Art (Kennesaw, GA) and the Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami).
Additionally, Christina’s work has been supported by a grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, the George Sugarman Foundation, and the Southeastern College Art Conference.