Artist Statement of Current Work
Art took shape for me many years ago as a social-activist designing late-night guerrilla installations in San Francisco. Sculpture then caught my attention with the promise of hammering away at resistance until it gave way to beauty; especially the Oxy-acetylene torch for bending metal to my will, into durable forms that gave voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. It was cathartic, but as my activism segued into Equal Justice I began to question sculpture as a suitable medium. And when the nine-foot Supreme Court penis I’d sculpted didn’t sell, and required storage, I began painting.
My paintings are still loosely based on the social problems most people want to avoid. So instead, I focus on their creative solutions. I’ve delved deep into my subconscious for the answers, so the images are whimsical, painlessly oblique, often surreal, and in living color.
Artist Statement of Early Work
I sculpt to forge a deeper insight into my life, both past and present. Working through the medium at hand I arrive at a conscious understanding of what it is I am seeing, finding myself in the dicey business of serving-up subconscious thoughts to the conscious mind, using the evolving sculpture as a go-between. These provocations are met with saws, mallets, and fire until an accurate form is rendered and diplomacy reestablished between body and mind.
Imbalance surfaces throughout my work stemming from a dangerous childhood and rubbing shoulders with humanity during early life on the streets. Imbalance is depicted in dual roles, as cause and effect, to mimic the template of social instability brought on by inequality regarding race, justice, sexual-orientation, gender, and wages. Issues of silence recur as a reminder of its role, not of passivity but complicity, and the toll it exacts on society.
Chris Darst is an award-winning San Francisco artist. She discovered sculpture many years ago as a diversion from a memoir in progress. The words stopped flowing after wandering into the unspeakable, so she quietly covered her Smith-Corona and picked up a blow torch.
While her preferred medium is stone, she continually explores a wide array of media utilizing assemblage, reclaimed wood, found object and fabric.
She uses metal and installation to create oversized and evocative sculpture to spark a conversation about the silence that ails humanity. Her work is deeply driven by her own life-experience, the basis of her explorations both into the dark and the illumination with which she returns.
Chris has been recognized by Allied Artists of America, New York City, for her stone work, and the San Francisco Equal Justice Society for her social statement through art. She was nominated for the Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship Program, and her recent foray into painting has earned three Juror's Award of Merit. She continues to refine her craft and her vision in her pursuit of social justice.