Chris Santa Maria

Chris Santa Maria paints thick and abstract with his palette's globby excess. It relieves portraiture's demand for representation. This abstraction is made of excess, and therefore has none.

When I moved to New York City in 2008, I started recycling things from my old studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Simultaneously (as with earlier works) I was referencing, appropriating and manipulating a combination of other people's ideas to serve my own. So, in one sense, the chronological narrative between each of these paintings seeks to realign the trajectory of my inspiration and reverence.

This work has become a tracing of my life, the history of art, and an addition to both those histories. It is also about creative anxiety and the fetishization of medium, the narcissism inherent in any reflexive project. In the beginning, the paintings were ugly because I was subverting my influences with brutal contrasts in tone, color and texture. But the work evolved into something more playful, rich, modified, but also fragmented, elusive, frustrated, still geared to a sampling aesthetic or sensibility.