By Christopher

Christopher Stott is a contemporary realist painter.

Aesthetica Art Prize 2020 at the York Art Gallery

Imagine my delight when I walked into the York Art Gallery in England and saw my paintings hanging in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2020 exhibition. Amongst numerous conceptual installations, photographs and television screens all over the walls, there they were… my paintings.

The editor of Aesthetica is able to see the connections and she was able to instantly tune in to how my paintings act as a bridge to the contemporary art scene with what clearly are traditionally executed paintings.

I spent many years studying contemporary art. I majored in photography at university and I’m comfortable when surrounded by conceptual installations — in fact, I myself have produced many. In forthcoming posts, I will explain precisely what my intentions are with my paintings, but for now, enjoy these few photographs of the installation at the York Art Gallery by photographer Jim Poyner.

Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography
Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography
Photo Credit: Jim Poyner Photography

Leading up to March 13 opening of the exhibition in York, England was obviously a confusing situation. In my part of the world, everything was already entering COVID-19 shut-down, but the United Kingdom maintained the status quo and everything was set to go ahead as planned. I had the strongest feelings that I was getting my England excursion just under the wire. It turned out exactly as I had anticipated with the added anxiety about supposed travel bans and being trapped forever and far away from my family. It didn’t turn out that way. My travel days were fine, I enjoyed a free upgrade to a more comfortable seat as I flew home over the Atlantic. I am now in the midst of a self-quarantine along with millions and millions of others.

To be very honest, little has changed in my daily life. For a decade I have set myself up in my studio for months on end to concentrate on painting. Audiobooks, podcasts, music, streaming radio from around the world — I never feel isolated or alone. I know this is true of my fellow artists and has been true of artists for millennia.

So wherever you are, I hope you’re well, I hope you’re coping, I hope this passes soon and we can get a grip on what it all means.

I have a commission I’m working on, as well as several new paintings for a planned exhibition in New York City this coming September. We shall see how this pans out. Whatever the case is, I’m positive I’ll have a body of work I’m proud of in a few short months.

Online Exhibition at George Billis Gallery LA

The George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles is operating an online version of my current exhibition, an alternative to going to the gallery during these strange times. The show technically is up until March 28. As an alternative to going to the gallery, please enjoy these photos of the installation, and see the remaining paintings on the gallery website.

Photo: Tressa Williams
Photo: Tressa Williams
Photo: Tressa Williams

I always enjoy watching people see the paintings in person. I like seeing the reactions, and hearing what people have to say. One day we’ll be living in a stable world where we can feel free to move into public spaces again. Until then, I’ll count my blessings.

Photo: Tressa Williams
Photo: Tressa Williams
Photo: Tressa Williams

Aesthetica Art Prize 2020

Ampro Precision Projector painting by Christopher Stott

I am very excited to announce that my work has been shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2020.

The renowned Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition returns this Spring, inviting audiences to discover and engage with new ideas from the next generation of talent. Hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, it redefines the parameters of contemporary art.

Since its establishment 13 years ago, the prize has provided a platform for artists from across the world, supporting and enhancing their careers through prize money, exhibition, publication and talent development, inviting leading jurors such as Sarah Allen, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern; Claire Catterall, Senior Curator, Somerset House; Damon Jackson-Waldock, Deputy Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Pierre Saurisse, Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and Eliza Williams, Editor, Creative Review.

The 2020 exhibition includes 18 artists that respond to today’s key issues, unpacking the layers of digitalised, globalised world. It is an honour to have my work selected out of thousands of entries.

As Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica, notes: “This Prize reflects upon the global situation – actions, behaviours and developments that are changing society. These artists are responding to the world around us, offering genuine insight into how we can encourage positive change. I am privileged to have the opportunity to see and support so much talent.”

Audiences can see my Ampro Precision Projector painting and other selected works at the exhibition which runs March 13 – July 5 at York Art Gallery, United Kingdom.

Read about my entry on the Aesthetica website.

Answer the Call

Twenty years ago I was an art student at the very beginning stages of exploring painting. For years and years before that, I had always been drawn to visual arts and had an aptitude for it, especially drawing. I even took a keen interest in reading biographies of long-dead artists and seemed to retain facts and trivia about their lives.

Finding your voice, discovering your subject, and creating your own vision and style was a task that was given in one of my classes.

I found mine early on and it took a permanent hold.

Long Distance / 12 x 24 inches / oil on canvas / 2019

There’s the obvious reason I would paint vintage objects — they’re interesting. They simply look good from all angles, especially straight on. Looking at them in their painted form, you can almost hear the sounds they make, the weight of them, get a sense of interacting with them. Early on I knew that there was a personality within them and I bank on that with each new painting.

Long Distance II / 12 x 24 inches / oil on canvas / 2019

Conversations

Almost always I work on two paintings in tandem and they have a conversation of sorts.

These two paintings illustrate this in the most obvious way. The dishevelled books in the first painting make me feel tense, scattered and hectic. The second painting is calm, organized and relaxed. States of being.

Chair & Books I / 48 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2020

I found this chair a few years ago at Everything Old — an amazing antique shop on Vancouver Island. It was white and obviously sat in a shed or garage for a few decades. I cleaned it up and painted it black — the simple and basic design has set a perfect contrast against the wall, the varied golden pages of the books pop out.

Chair & Books II / 48 x 30 inches / oil on canvas / 2020

Pure Imagination

The objects I paint are always shown as they are in the world — I don’t pull any magic tricks — it’s straightforward realism. But the one thing I do is scale-up. These bubble gum machines can hold a place of imagination and nostalgia. When painted large and bold, they dominate the space they are in. I suppose, in a way, the “trick” is to make you notice and captivate you, even just for a moment.

2¢ / 36 x 36 inches / oil on canvas

I had these hanging in my house for several months, but they are now in Los Angeles at the George Billis Gallery where they will be on display from February 22 – March 28.

Oak Gumball Machine painting by Christopher Stott
Oak Gumball Machine / 36 x 24 inches / oil on canvas

ITOYA 2020 Calendars

2020 brings in another calendar from ITOYA in Japan. For the past four years, this fine stationery store sells a calendar they produce with my images. It’s a total delight and I love it — large and sturdy and tastefully designed.

This year ITOYA has also added a desk calendar.

The calendars are only available in the Japanese market — if you’re outside of Japan, try using tenso.com to import the calendar. You can find the calendar on the ITOYA website here.

Royal FP

A fresh 30 x 48-inch painting just off the easel is on the way to The George Billis Gallery in New York. It’s a sturdy Royal FP typewriter from the 1950s. You can take a closer look at it → here.

I have been working on my upcoming exhibition for the gallery’s Los Angeles location and have made major headway, so I am able to send this one to New York for clients to see.

The Southampton Review

I had the honour of having my painting appear on the cover of the summer and fall 2019 edition of The Southampton Review. Inside the beautifully published literature and fine art journal, there are also 8 paintings from my portfolio.

I am pleased that the publisher appreciates the poetry of my paintings and finds them able to relate to their audience and correspond with the other art and writings in the magazine. I aim for my paintings to have subtle narratives and it is a privilege to be able to spend my time endlessly working on them.

The Southampton Review – Summer/Fall 2019

Everyone’s a Winner at Robert Lange Studios

I was again invited to participate in a big group exhibition at the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. Celebrating their 15th year in business, Everyone’s a Winner includes 40+ artists and will be on display during September. My contribution is The Pleasures of Life. Tap/click on the image for a closer look.

The Pleasures of Life / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas / framed

My next solo exhibition…

It is going to be a busy and productive fall and winter for me. I am setting up to work on several new paintings for my next solo exhibition which will be in Los Angeles in February/March 2020 at the George Billis Gallery LA.

First up we’ve got this set of cameras, just completed and set aside in the stockpile.

There will also be a few art fairs along the way before I head to LA for the show and I plan on having fresh work for them as well. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

9 Cameras / on the easel