Artist Statement

My work is a visual compilation of historical, theatrical, literary and cinematic markers that I’ve been informed by throughout my lifetime.  The idea of taking outdated elements from long shuttered warehouses, surplus yards and estates, giving them purpose and life anew fascinates me as it feeds my sense of the mystical reorganizing of reality. To tell a story with rescued objects that would ordinarily be cast out inspires their re-awakening into supernatural suggestions. My studio is not unlike Jean Cocteau’s surrealist castle in the 1946 film Beauty and the Beast or Jan Svankmajer’s Wonderland in his 1988 film Alice... the unexpected lives here.

I work in several different forms, both large and small scale sculptures as well as flat surfaces. My larger pieces are life-size jointed figures standing inside elaborate vitrines. Each one of these sculptures has a personality which echoes historical allusions and theatrical traditions. The relationship between the found components, this history and my imagination forms an alchemy that relies on the use of antique materials and laborious obsolete techniques to create liberated archetypes channeling theater, surrealism and folk art traditions. For example, Mr. Black aka “The Footman,” is made from hundreds of antique shoelaces ruched together into a lace armor, antique buttons from high button shoes and cast iron treadles from shoeshine boxes forming a sort of church spire atop the vitrine. I have been referred to as “a guild of one” due to the range of my skills. My intent is to create a “theater of the object”, to imbue conceptual art with a richness only possible when the history behind the concept, the value of the materials used and the human labor involved in the creation marry concept to object in such a way that a work of art can stand on it’s own as enchantment… beyond the idea it stands for.Artist/writer John Matturri has described Chris Piazza’s work as coming out of “her deep feeling for found materials, a feeling rooted in patinas that are as much emotional as physical, that often call the viewer back to material histories that resonate although they are often just beyond the reach of personal memory.” Matturri writes that Piazza’s works "combine a minimalist sensibility of repetition, seriality, and meticulous craftsmanship with a maximalist imaginative vision akin to, albeit on a larger physical scale, that of Joseph Cornell. Applying her procedures to found objects, she creates an art that celebrates the world of their makers and users not through nostalgic recollection for a lost past but through a positive affirmation of continuity and solidarity. Her re-use of those objects is very contemporary."

 

Solo Exhibitions

• 2013 Hudson Merchantile, Hudson, NY
• 2009 Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 The Pictures, Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2006 The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2005 The Snowshoe Salesman made by order of Her Royal MajestyQueen NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2002 Fritz and The Professor, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2001 Froggy and The Gardener, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2001 Five Characters From The Commedia, Save Venice Benefit, Cipriani 42, NY, NY
• 2000 The Cabbage Eater, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 1973 Puppets and Small Characters, Forge Gallery, NY, NY

Group Exhibitions

• 2018 Sympathetic Magic, Westbeth Gallery, NYC, NY
• 2012 Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2007 2008 Punch Bowl, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 Benefit Art & Design Auction, Design Trust for Public Space, NY, NY
• 2007 Radius Show, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 "About Face: Artists not afraid of U-Turns, GCCCA Gallery, Catskill , NY
• 2007 ArtWalk07, Brooklyn, NY
• 2006 Library, Proteus Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY
• 2006 ArtWalk06, Brooklyn, NY
• 2004 Dark Shadows and Curious Circuses, Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL
• 2004 ArtWalk04, Brooklyn, NY
• 2003 Constructing Realities, Selby Gallery Ringling School Art and Design, Sarasota FL
• 2003 Group Exhibition, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Hunter, NY
• 2001 Creative Spirit Award Gala, CCWC, Puck Building, NY
• 2000 Five Artists - Borkowska - Boxer - Foreman - Gerson - Piazza, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2000 Summer Group Exhibition, Sailor’s Valentine Gallery - Nantucket, Mass.
• 2000 13 Montgomery Street Gallery - Rhinebeck, NY
• 1986 Group Exhibition, Alan Stone Gallery - New York, NY
• 1986 Forgotten Games: The Art Of Box Construction, Foxworth Gallery, NY, NY
• 1986 Urban Archetypes, Civilian Warfare Gallery, NY, NY
• 1986 New Territory, two person group show, Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association, Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Pandora’s Box, New Museum, NY, NY
• 1985 Terminal Show, Bush Terminal Show, Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Small Works Show, Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association - Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Small Works Show, curated by Alan Stone, New York University, NY, NY
• 1984 Folk Art Show, Park Avenue Atrium, NY, NY

Theater, Readings, Film and Collaborations

• 2001 NYCReadings: Paradigm Poets BBC simulcast broadcast, Acme Underground; Spa, NY; St. Marks Poetry Project; Ohm
• 2000 Featured Reader, Tribes - New York, NY
• 1997 The Theater of Awkward Collage - performance piece written and staged in collaboration with sound designer Wayne Frost, View Gallery, NY, NY
• 1997 Honeymoon Suite - costume for installation/performance by Elisabeth Tesla, Art Awareness, Lexington, NY
• 1996 Photographic Tryptichs (with Barry Gerson), Carrie Haddad Gallery - Hudson, NY
• 1986 A Fairy Tale - costumes, staging and performance for film by Jim Jennings, St. Augustine, Fla.
• 1982 Elvis: A Docu-drama - costumes and performance for video production by Robert Schneider, Baruch College, NY City
• 1981 The Lobster Parade - costumes and performance for summer “street” production by Mary Forrester, New York, NY
• 1983 Waiting For The Train - costumes, staging and performance for film by Jim Jennings,Worcester, Mass.
• 1980-93 The Laura Forman Dance/Performance Art Theater - costumes and set design for numerous performances at various venues including: The Delacorte Theater, NY and The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
• 1985 Head Lines (with Jim Jennings), Space Digest Today, Eye Magazine, artist publication, edition of 151, NYC
• 1981-82 SEE/SAW, collaborative artist publication, NYC
• 1978-82 Nuke Brink - script, costumes, set design, staging and performance for film-collaboration with Jim Jennings, Brooklyn, NY
• 1975-76 Yeats Cuchulain Cycle - masks, The Irish Arts Center, NYC
• 1974-75 The Hispanic Repertoire Company - masks and costumes, NYC

Grants, Awards, Commissions

• 2006 The Snow Queen's Walking Stick, Brooklyn Academy of Music - commission for 2006 New Wave Festival presentation to Pina Bausch
• 2003 George Sugarman Foundation
• 2002 Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation

Bibliography

• New York Social Diary, listing 11/07
• Art In America, listing 11/2007
• Chelseaartgalleries.com, listing 11/2007
• ArtKnowledgeNews.com, listing 11/2007
• Unseen Cinema on tour, listing 11/2007
• Alpin, Beth C., "There is no agenda; It's about the neighborhood," Brooklyn Eagle, June 8, 2007 AM NY, listing June 8-10, 2007
• Art In America, listing 10/2006
• Shaw, Dan, "Her Carriage House is a Stable for her Art," New York Times, Feb. 5, 2006
• Albritton, Ann, Constructing Realities Part II, Sculpture Magazine, Vol. 24 No. 5, June, 2005
• Gonzalez, Allyson "Constructing Realities Part II," Weekly Planet, Sarasota, Fl
• Moraru, Gabriela, New York Chooses You, 2004 documentary film about artists: Beatrice Coron, Chris Piazza, Vic Muniz, John Tarry, Neil Tetkowski,
• Oisteanu, Valery “Where can we find Surrealism old & new,” NY Arts Vol.7 July/Aug.2002
• Segal, Rick “This is Art,” studio visit and interview, May 2001- www.Thisisart.com
• Dellolio, Peter “Puppets” featured artist, Artscape2000, Spring 1999- www.artscape2000


New York Times Article

PBS on restoration of Gene Moore Chandelier for MCNY

For information or inquires about Chris Piazza's work, please contact:

Chris Piazza
g[email protected]
347-277-0341

back to main

Photography and Web design - Michael Hnatov, [email protected]