Through a dear friend, I just discovered a new favorite artist, Chris Stott, at the Elliott Fouts Gallery on J Street in Sacramento. His subject matter seems to be the same items that I use to personalize and interior space–typewriters, books, clocks, suitcases–anything vintage. He puts a modern spin on it by always using a white backdrop for his work. I can’t wait to meet him and his new pieces in June at his next show.
After earning a BFA with High Honors and a Distinguished Exhibition in 2003 from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Stott worked in photography in the fine art department at that university. Being immersed in the rapidly changing and technical world of photography, he left to pursue the painting studio, where the digital world was shut out and the tradition of oil painting honored. For the next several years, he studied and practiced, building and perfecting his skills, and continues to do so with a prolific studio career.
Stott’s work is almost object portraiture, applying traditional still life compositions and lighting but ventures beyond time honored subject matter. Stott takes his cues from various eras of art including the interiors of Vermeer, the still life of Chardin to the realism of Thiebaud. With the addition of retro, vintage and antique objects like rotary telephones, typewriters, electric fans, and alarm clocks, he links the old with the new and applies a subtle narrative to his work, often with a quiet sense of humor.
The banal and ordinary subjects of his work are painted in a celebratory way, turning them in to iconic vestiges of the not so distant past. The simple yet bold compositions are set in variations of neutral grey and white tones. The paintings have repetition, rhythm and an emphasis on the basic geometric designs of the subjects with their finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary representational art.
Stott resides in a small but beautiful city virtually hidden in the vast plains of the Canadian prairies. He works from the studio in his home with his wife and two young children.