Chris Lopez creates lyrical compositions exploring dramatic lighting and its manipulation of the male form.
Working in a variety of mediums ranging from charcoal on paper to digital prints, Chris’ art are testimonies to his personal concept of beauty. Since his pieces often incorporate the male nude, his work tends to be inappropriately labeled “erotic art.” On this subject, Chris clarifies:
“My artwork is not sexual, it’s not erotic, but, obviously naked men are erotic. My art is about beauty. It’s nothing that I’m excited or turned on about. I like to portray beauty, and, obviously, I like men, so that’s my concept of beauty. So, when the beauty starts to reach that area where it’s more sexual I feel weird. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, it’s getting hot!’ It’s a fine line.”
Using his own photography, Chris translates his images into various mediums. He photographs strangers off the street as well as personal friends; it all depends on who catches his eye:
“When I see someone I can see the potential, and I see that I can do something interesting with that face and that body,” Chris says.
Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Chris officially began his artistic career after moving to Puerto Rico in 1996 where his male nudes caught the eye of a gallerist. After five years Chris felt he needed a change of scenery and left Puerto Rico for Fort Lauderdale, FL. However, breaking into the gallery scene in Florida proved to be much more difficult. Chris recalls deeply hurtful moments in which his work was insulted and he was laughed out of galleries.
After a season of defeats, Chris began marketing himself online as an independent artist, and for 15 years conducted the majority of his sales via his website. Now, having built a solid reputation for himself both in and out of the state, he has begun working with Jo Hay Open Studio Gallery in Provincetown, MA.
As a gay man who also happens to an artist, Chris is exasperated by the public’s insistence on labeling him a “gay artist.” This is largely because he feels that “gay art” is a movement that underscores certain values he doesn’t associate with his art.
“I have seen so many times that label of ‘gay artist’ and I’m not so happy about that. Like, I’m gay and I’m an artist, but that’s not really relevant. So, if we are men, and we are doing male nudes we are categorized as gay? I don’t feel like I’m doing gay art. I didn’t choose to do a special kind of work because I am gay.”
Chris Lopez is currently showing three paintings at The Midway Gods & Monsters gallery as part of the exhibition, This Swarthy Face, an admiration of man in his various states of beauty and masculinity. On view until Aug. 27, 2016.
To learn more about Chris Lopez, click here
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Written By Vanessa Wilson
Images provided by the artist