JULY 27 – AUGUST 17, 2023
RECEPTION: SATURDAY, JULY 29, 5-7 PM
The central theme of Transformations resides in capturing the essence of change. Engel’s profound artistic expressions offer glimpses into the transformative experiences, be it a child’s awe-inspiring encounter with art for the first time in his figurative piece, “Mo Ma,” or the interplay of natural shapes evolving into intricate patterns found in his abstract works “Air,” “Fire,” and “Water,” which also capture the dawn of written language through calligraphic lines.
Engel’s unique artistic style blends figurative and abstract imagery, employing expressive brushstrokes and a masterful interplay of colors. Critics have drawn comparisons between Engel and esteemed artists such as George McNeil, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Robert Motherwell. However, it is his distinct expressionistic and symbolic approach that sets Engel’s work apart, as he deftly depicts the archetypal imagery of the collective unconscious, calling on Engel’s connection to Carl Jung, whose writing and imagery has inspired him since childhood.
One of the standout pieces, “The Swimming Lesson,” captivates viewers with a figure immersed in water, evoking connections to both John the Baptist and scenes one might encounter on a serene beach. All of Engel’s paintings possess a mystical quality, a sense of otherworldliness that bridges the past, the present, and the future seamlessly.
Notably, Engel’s portrayal of angels throughout his artwork is both arresting and beautiful, with a radiance that permeates even his darker compositions. In “They Saw Themselves in the Reflection,” four figures gather around a table adorned with depictions of angels, words, colors, and animals. The captivating imagery, swirling together in harmonious chaos, freezes the moment as the figures gaze directly at the viewer. Whether they represent monks, performers, or ordinary people enjoying a social gathering or commemorating the passing of a loved one, their presence exudes an enchanting resonance of joy.
Engel’s masterful use of color infuses his artwork with vibrancy, bringing forth sharp hues and tones that resonate with the viewer. His technique involves layering dashes, crosses, checks, and angles generously upon his chosen canvas, whether archival paper or canvas itself. Through this overlaying process, hidden under-hues are unearthed, revealing a captivating narrative that evolves with each glance, offering new insights and passages within the series.
As both the artist and the viewer engage with Engel’s transformative art, they embark on a shared journey of metamorphosis. Through his skillful craftsmanship, Engel invites us to witness the extraordinary potential for change within ourselves and the world around us.
Featured article in 27East
Feature in UK Magazine Inside Artists
“Carl G. Jung confirmed, ‘the ancient cultures had more realization about our place in the universe, than our current society can even conceive of’ (from Psychology and Alchemy). My work attempts to capture images of the archetypal origins of myth and to draw the viewer into a connection and communication with ancient spirits, the metaphysical, the sacred, the holy, and the transcendent. These images portray the archetypal heroes and heroines that exist in the past, present and future all at the same moment. These images have appeared throughout history – in the first marks of our ancestors, on cave walls, on trees, in the sand – messages that though we are only passing through this life momentarily, we each are a part of something that never ends. I venture to record these images as a map for exploration – to show patterns, to chart the sub-conscious, to leave a record of this journey.”
– Christopher Engel
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PO Box 2664
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
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