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    Chris Cole                                             Click here for the Artist's Statement

    Bio

     

    Chris Cole creates moving creatures and surreal images of avian and aquatic life that are inseparable from the industrialized and mechanical world we live in. Smooth plant-like shapes are connected with heavy bolts; tendons, seed-pods, and seaweed seem to be screwed to washers and bearings; fins and wings are animated by bicycle chains and motors, melding nature with the mechanized world.

    Chris has spent most of his life in the small towns of the Northwest. Proximity and the abundance of wilderness heavily influenced his subject matter, though he always gravitated toward the abstract. He began painting as a teenager and, uncomfortable in the classroom, has developed his self-taught style of abstract surrealism.

    As a kid, Chris was fascinated with machinery, especially anything he could take apart and alter or refashion. The attraction was initially based in physics and mechanical potential rather than aesthetics. In the late 1970’s, his family moved to Omaha and Chris started hanging out with kids who tricked-out their bikes- covering them with reflectors or fur, chain steering wheels, etc. This early exposure to the integration of aesthetics with mechanical function had resounding effects on him.

    Bikes continued to play a predominant roll in Chris’s life – he was 12 when he got a job repairing bikes after school and as an adult he went on to spend nearly two decades as a professional bike mechanic. Working on bikes dramatically shaped his understanding of machinery, and became the basis for his kinetic sculptures.

    You can see some of Chris's structural/practical work at www.chriscoleindustries.com