Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Chris Hood has been producing striking artwork since 2007. Some of his most recent work (with assistance from his four-pawed assistant, Sadie) is currently on display at the Saatchi Gallery. His pale colour schemes are at once a fury of patterns but also a mellow reflection of the modern urban landscape.
I recently spoke to Chris Hood about his display at “Known Unknowns”. Describing his paintings, created mostly using alkyd paint on canvas, to form a visual representation of the urban landscape. He has created what he described to me as “collages of digital references and different representations of space”.
His paintings are a typhoon of colours, swirling patterns and vivid symbols- Untitled (Sad Mascot) is reminiscent of a psychedelic Van Gogh in the use of clearly discernable strokes of paint: Van Gogh’s Starry Night channeled through a modern prism.
Created using the staining technique of bleeding paint through the back of the canvas, great care is taken in the selective use of paints which will physically interact with each other in a near chemical hierarchy, at once blending select colours together while separating others. “There’s a tension, where they [the paints] have to fight on the surface. I try to respond to the material…I do think about that and how they invoke those emotional qualities”.
Chris’ use of symbols to add a human, emotional element is a fascinating addition to his paintings; “I see those elements in my work as being emotive… we’re so used to advertisements and these kinds of things, these mascots that have been invented to communicate human emotion through these banal ads…all these cartoon elements can be associated with the way we use “emojis” now. If you think about emojis they’re a kind of contemporary Cuneiform, almost like hieroglyphics. They can have these surface qualities but really they can also have some kind of responding depth in the way we use language and pictures”.
“Known Unknowns” will be on display at the Saatchi gallery until June 24, 2018.”
By Danny Holden