Alumni portfolios

  • AMOR FATI 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 64 x 42 inches, 162.6 x 106.7 centimeters.
    AMOR FATI 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 64 x 42 inches, 162.6 x 106.7 centimeters.
  • FOR A LACK OF SOMETHING BETTER 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 56 x 42 inches, 142.3 x 106.7 centimeters.
    FOR A LACK OF SOMETHING BETTER 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 56 x 42 inches, 142.3 x 106.7 centimeters.
  • GUANTANAMERA 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 182.9 x 182.9 centimeters.
    GUANTANAMERA 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 182.9 x 182.9 centimeters.
  • NARENSCHIFF 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 182.9 x 182.9 centimeters.
    NARENSCHIFF 2011, Oil and Synthetic Polymer Resin on Canvas, 72 x 72 inches, 182.9 x 182.9 centimeters.

Chris Willcox

Biography 

Chris Willcox lives and works in New York City. Born in Washington D.C., he attended Washington University in St. Louis (BFA 2010), where he studied philosophy and painting. Beyond his studio practice, Chris works in the neuroscience lab of Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, investigating the link between visual art, the mind, and the brain.

Statement 

Are we in control of our lives? There are two ways to look at this.* Whenever I burn myself with coffee while running to catch a train I ultimately miss, I understand that I am part of a malevolent universe both larger and more complex than myself, and that no matter how hard I try, I and everyone else will never be anything but unwitting recipients of its blind and oppressive patterns. But that same night, when I plug my iPod into the stereo and suddenly everyone at the party seems to be having the same conversation, I can't help but adopt the other approach: that we really can shape the events of our own lives. Freedom exists. Genuine connections are possible. In and of itself, either approach is too extreme to be right, but something between them needs to be. I make paintings to figure out what that is.

Like thunderstorms and subway schedules, there's not much I can do to control the way a half-gallon of wet paint falls onto a canvas. I can push and pull at it, but gravity is doing most of the work. What I do control, rather, are the conditions in which this process occurs: the paint's color, its texture, the proportion and size of the canvas it falls on. By creating a context, the content creates itself. There are thousands of paintings that could happen, but only one that ever does. Everything is possible in the future, but only one thing exists in the present. Do we control that? Maybe.

* Actually, there are probably thousands of ways to look at this. My mind, however, tends to dwell on two of them.