Christopher Rico returns to black and white painting after a few years of exploring color. What is different in this series from previous explorations is its murkiness and looseness, mired in something cosmic, metaphysical, and philosophical.
For this body of work Rico uses oversized calligraphy brushes on Yupo paper. He laid out long sheets on the floor and masked off dimensions for what would become separate sheets. Many of the eventual works were painted together as one in order to preserve single and repetitive strokes that materialized as part of his daily meditations. This physical meditation resulted in artifacts of gesture allowing subconscious imagery to emerge freely as though they were born from the depths--where a physical entity’s relationship to gravity and environment is different than for lifeforms on the surface.
The theme of creation and destruction being inversions rather than opposites has long fascinated and influenced Rico's artistic practice. He marries the formal with the emotive in ways that manifest as dramatic, beautiful, haunting, and visceral. Materials are evident; the process feels hidden, even elusive. This sense of mystery supports the internal mythologies that develop within the work; dragons, leviathans, deep fields of space that reference the divine and the sacred, emerging like shadows flickering on the cavern wall. A single stroke across a canvas or a page translates as a living thing, full of energy and life force yet completely non-representational.
Rico states, "I am naturally an introspective person, but the isolation of last year caused me to go much deeper. We are all seeking some way to understand the past year. Like many, I feel that I am coming up for air after a long time submerged. This is fertile ground for myth and stories; for the mysterious, the awe-inspiring, the provocative, and even the confrontational. I am always pursuing the means to communicate these themes visually."