* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Chris Musina is a Canadian born artist who earned a BFA from the University of South Florida and an MFA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Chris describes his work by saying, “Drawing from a deep phylogeny of cultural cues, I reference historical painters, contemporary animal culture, philosophy, hunting, kitsch, museum dioramas, and the like, in an exploration of humanity’s represented relationship to the animal world. Manifested in life size compositions full of dark humor and bright color my work is loaded with allusions to specific paintings, places, events, and theories. I am addressing the animal not as symbolist metaphoric object, but as subject, yet a subject aware of its own powerful symbolic nature; painting represents the bulk of my practice precisely due to this reason and its effects. In allusion it’s own representedness, I break the image with bold color, “unfinished” or applied to the surface elements, inspired by the descriptors of scientific illustration or the ornate decoration of religious imagery. These paintings are populated with animal protagonists who stare back at the viewer in an uneasy gaze; aware of that place in our cultural history– asking for compassion, mercy, or simply to be put out of their misery.”