Bradley Chriss: Artist Statement

 “Poetry leads to the same place as all forms of eroticism — to the blending and fusion of separate objects. It leads us to eternity, it leads us to death, and through death to continuity. Poetry is eternity; the sun matched with the sea.” 
― Georges BatailleErotism: Death and Sensuality


The world to me is beautiful and horrible. I have never been able to reconcile the absurdity of life and death or kindness and cruelty. It is the stress of simultaneous experiences like finding road kill on the Blue Ridge Parkway, heroin needles at the park, the carbon in the sunset that generates the aesthetics in my work.


I believe in beauty however!


I have many sincere moments of being awe struck. I ignore cell phone towers to peer at the majesty of mountains, clouds and stars. I edit my environment while looking, constantly holding onto the things that make life worth living.  Enjoying nature while it lasts.


However to make anything against the genuinely apocalyptic backdrop of global warming seems laughable, depressing, desperately heroic.


Recently I’ve wanted to tilt the scale to beautiful in my paintings. It seems to help people, or gives them a moment to feel happier or more at ease. The sense that we are living in a disaster but everything should be okay is going to be the subtext for all human activity in the colonial centers moving forward, to deny it seems impossible.  I am making artwork for a terminally ill species.