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Christine Wu

top - One Little Two Little Indians left - Ghouls Night Out

I’ve been following Christine Wu for about a year now. I stumbled upon her work while skimming through some art blog or another and felt the force of her aesthetic from the thumbnails, alone. The tension in her work is immediate and intense; the expressiveness of the hypnotic double exposure and sketchy, unfinished features is no less striking than the highly skilled and careful realism through which her work is rendered. The content of her work is, at once, visual and concrete, but experiential and intangible. Her portraits are no less those of their human subjects than they are of a particular emotion or experience: “When I paint figures, I want to create a sort of breath, to capture a fleeting feeling, like the breathless moment of an orgasm, deep sigh or broken heart.” Her layered images and unfinished, rougharound-the-edges aesthetic sets her work apart from the representational completeness of photography – rather than pinning down the physical reality of human life, she chooses to “…intensify it.” Drawn to selfdiscovery, she often presents her subjects in stages of troubled introspection, moments highly personal but ultimately accessible, as we all anticipate the unknown and understand the force of its emotional complexity. Her interest in the supernatural comes to no surprise; her affinity for “layered, transparent things” alludes to the presence of ghosts and spirits. At the same time, however, a

piece like Ghouls Night Out (2010) certainly depicts the paranormal, while still grappling with themes of human identity, namely “…the many faucets of personality that everyone tends to have as a whole.” Christine likes to rise early and work in the sunlight: “There is something magical about the way indirect sunlight illuminates fabric drapes with a cool glow, not to mention the mythological connotations of sunlight dispelling evils.” She values routine and organization as “…starting a day well reflects how the rest of the day will play out, like a continuous flow of energy.” Christine received her BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and is currently based in Los Angeles. Keep a look out for her – she’s got a solo show coming up in November at La Luz de Jesus Gallery and will be producing new work now and then when inspiration calls for it: “I like to keep my outlook open to invite any opportunities that may come my way, so I don‘t put too much emphasis making a long term schedule for the future, simply onwards and upwards.”

text by Dania Lerman

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