Christopher Mir Makes Chicken Scratch Enticing.

The childish use of color and scraggly linework of Hamden, Connecticut-based artist Christopher Mir are misleading; if these works strike you as digital MS Paint drawings made by a youngster, you’d be dead wrong. Herein lies the most well-rendered chicken scratch you’ve ever seen, set down with acrylic paints and enamel, and full of fascinating characters, unusual settings, and off-kilter subject matter.

In the full post, Mir offers some words about the inspiration behind a select number of pieces. Despite their simple and straight-forward presentations, Mir’s inspiration is often rooted in current events and older artistic works, as well as symbolic and esoteric knowledge.

(9 IMAGES TOTAL)


The Alchemist
“This is based on an image from a book called Alchemy and Mysticism. In the original work — from the 17th century I believe — the man in the foreground isn’t blue, but in the painting I wanted to make him into a Krishna figure or a water being. He’s there to water the trees and put out the fire. The entire image is open to interpretation, but in my mind, the symbol of the tree refers to our own feeling of being grounded — rooted within the body — or of being uprooted — lost in thought or egoistic delusion.”

Mir currently has a solo show at Benrimon Contemporary in NYC (514 West 24th Street, 2nd Floor) through February 23rd and another next month at TMproject in Geneva, Switzerland (2, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers).


Shaman

 


Snake Handler
“Some Southern Baptists use snake handling as part of their religious practice. My family on my mother’s side are Southern Baptists, and I like to work with images that relate to this aspect of my heritage. I also see this image in particular as a symbolic representation of male dominance and/or arrogance. The fact is that we are all female. Males are a mutant version of the female body template.”


Wedding Day
“This reminds me of Crazy Cloud (Ikkyu) who wrote a cycle of poems called “Skeletons” in which the world is populated with living skeletons. It is a profound meditation on impermanence and death. It is also not unlike the many “Death and the Maiden” images that Edvard Munch produced.”


Underwater Ali


Family of Trees


Miss Multiverse
“This painting is based on an Ellis Ruley painting. I was thinking about the Persephone myth as it relates to creativity. So in this case Persephone is a beauty queen with attendants. My reading of the myth: one needs a degree of innocence and childlike wonderment in order to make art that really connects with people and sustains itself.”


Just Between You and Me
“This is a painting of Kevin Richardson embracing a lion. Kevin is a South African animal behaviorist who has been accepted into a lion pride. I got the image as a screen capture from an Associated Press video on line. Coming to terms with our own animal nature — or how we are or are not a part of that nature — is a recurring theme for me.”


Not one of Mir’s works. 🙂

Ω

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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