Strings is a selection of recent work by Christopher Engel.
The recurrent theme of all humans connected to those who have gone before echoes throughout the series, as in all of Engel’s work. Engel explains, “There are points in life when all lines come together. There is an alignment of thoughts and ideas. All voices resonate in unison, and that which travels within has the moment to be seen, heard or felt. We are surrounded by the remnants of all who came before; the energy leaving ‘strings’ that entangle into our lives.”
The title figurative work contains two figures holding the strings of puppets. The main figure is the Sutradhara, known as the “holder of strings.” Traditionally, this is the central character in Sanskrit theater and also the head of the troupe. The symbolic and metaphysical interpretations resound. The seminal abstract work, “Strings,” has ties to Engel’s abstract series “Alchemy” and “Through the Lines.” The work references calligraphy, graffiti, marks on walls, tar patches, ripples in water and, seemingly, all are bound together through the motion and energy of the entire composition.
Christopher Engel’s faces, figures and abstracts invite the viewer to enter their subconscious and allow his images to reveal themselves to their conscious mind. Continuing to embrace his Jungian philosophy, Engel incorporates archetypal images of the collective unconscious via the use of mythical, mystical and dreamlike images in his figures and faces. His abstract paintings trace ancient patterns, allowing the viewer to journey through a door to our primordial beginnings, where alchemy plays a role in the metamorphosis of random shapes into powerful symbols. Engel opens a door to the past, reminding us of our present condition and perhaps our future transformation.
Engel grew up in Manhattan in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, in a changing landscape filled with remnants of the past crashing into the future, and the scintillating spirits and energy of many cultures flourishing, growing and changing at the same moment in time. Inspired by these patterns, as well as the experience of travels and time spent working and living in Montauk, Sag Harbor, and Nova Scotia, Engel illuminates the past as well as connects to the present moment and future journeys of the heart, mind and soul.
Engel’s work is part of many art collections throughout New York from NYC to the East End, as well as collections on both the East and West Coast and Europe. He has gained great recognition as an artist over the past thirteen years as a resident of Sag Harbor, and Romany Kramoris Gallery has been thrilled to present and represent Engel’s work for the past ten years.
“We are travelers even if we stand still.
We are in constant motion.
Whether we open our eyes or deep in sleep, we are witnesses and participants in the flow of images, ideas, and movements that make up our universe.
From the marks on cave walls to the vibrating strips of string theory, all is connected.
We are tightrope walkers moving through time, balancing what we know and what we don’t.
Finding faces of our ancestors and those yet to come in the colorful patterns of fields, on the ground, and in the sky – the simple wash of rain on black roads or the call of morning birds.
All the while, angels and spirits are there to point the way to understanding what it all means.
The quest for meaning can be answered in this simple way – we are all made from the same things and we are all one.”