Christopher Paul Brown
Multi-disciplinary artist, Christopher Paul Brown, is a photographer, film-maker, musician, and writer. He also practices “alchemy,” a process by which he converts abandoned industrial sites in Chicagoland’s Fox River Valley to the opposite. In his abstract images, the reds, browns, and greys of oxidized metal, broken equipment, and weeds become blues, purples, greens and golds. Solids become transparent. Positives morph into negatives. His work is, according to him, play, and his artistic destinations are completely unknown to him until they appear, by a kind of involute magic, on the screen in front of him. Methods he developed as a performer and producer of improvisational music and experimental film show up again in the ways he inverts, reverses, separates, rephrases, combines, and transforms the parts of his visual compositions. This is art in the moment, not the spawn of photo history. This is not the staid and studied art of the academy; it is both antique and contemporary. It is alchemy.
Everything I've done in art, video, and music has been based on improvisation and the straddling of polar opposites such as intent/openness, obscure/reveal and work/play. I expect surprise, synchronicity, and serendipity to show up in the final result. I have likened the work to alchemy, the process of revelation in which an artist uses the power of polarities to connect to new meanings. I was exposed to this alchemical approach to making art via a dozen LSD trips between 1971 and 1975. Where I had once wished to work on the frontiers of science while pursuing art as a hobby, the experience of LSD showed me that the real frontier of our times is inner space and a deeper understanding of alchemy.
ch33 [at] runbox [dot] com