|Editions: hand-knotted rugs|
|Offsite: public art and installations|
|Artists' book program|
Christopher Astley is a sculptor who constructs (or collects and alters) bags and containers to use as molds for making sculptures. He fills them with wet concrete, which stresses the seams and the shape of the containers. Gravity, mass and moisture reshape the original mold. What emerges is a new iteration of the form, imperfect, misshapen and often verging on figural.
Astley's newest sculptures are walls made of these painted forms stacked on top, leaning against, squished between, and oozing over each other. Each of the individual cast elements that he creates add to the particular vernacular of the overall form - the stacked wall takes shape as holes and spaces are filled with painted forms that are on hand or with new bags that are sewn quickly before concrete dries. The process is sometimes a kind of triage where decisions are made urgently to fill immediate needs. Bags burst and need to be sewn by hand with large sewing needles forcing their way through cement-saturated material. Wet heavy bags are gingerly leaned and stacked - vulnerable until they cure. The wall's overall needs supersede preconceived aesthetic considerations - design is drowned in a flood of necessity. Everything is up for grabs - favorite forms are sacrificed to a more ham-fisted whole. The element of chance is welcomed; the working process is a matter of adventure and discovery.
Christopher Astley was born and grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and received his BGS degree from The University of Michigan. He lives in New York City with his wife Amy and daughters Edie and Ingrid. Astley's work has been included in exhibitions at: The Margulies Collection in Miami, Florida; Art Production Fund's Lab space, New York City; Bravin Lee Programs, New York City; Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton, New York; Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York City; Michael Stienberg Fine Arts, New York City; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida; Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; H&R Block Artspace at Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri; Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida,Tampa, Florida.