City of Night
Archived: May 28th - June 24th, 2009
Chris Haberman is a working writer, painter and musician native to the Portland area. He has shown artwork around town for the last 5 years. Aside from painting, he has published poetry, journalism and fiction; being awarded the Tom Doulis Fiction award, the Wilma Morrison award for excellence in journalism and is a member to the Academy of American Poets.
“All of my artwork is created on found (post-consumer materials) objects, given or found on the streets and alleyways of Portland, OR, a discarded cabinet door, a table top or the occasional battered street sign quickly becomes the backdrop for a integrated puzzle of human figures. The multitude of images pushed together with words, objects and figures reflects the complexity of our modern life. The images created are ‘folk-art’ in nature, a spontaneous layering of bright color and art material (paint, glue, charcoal, ink pen, oil stik, lipstick, etc. ) reflecting people, politics, the region, pop-culture, media, music, film and literature.”
Painting is my vessel of communication. Art becomes a social and personal dialectic for me aimed at resolving inner and public conflict while simultaneously celebrating humanity. Through irony, humor, bold and subtle imagery I convey my vision on to others. I place my characters in settings where the rooftops of society have been cut off, and their idiosyncrasies become their vulnerabilities. By utilizing perspective I place my characters into a realm that seems comfortable and inviting, but contains certain disjointed qualities. My characters explode out of their setting while remaining stoic, as though they are unaffected by their environment. (A petty thief that steals the tip of a waitress left on the bar by a previous patron – the meat market patrons with their robust, sex crazed egos manipulating the masses with their decedent carnage). Some have suggested that my work has a masculine perspective, but I certainly do not represent or embody the masculine viewpoint. Ultimately, I paint individuals transfixed by their struggle, at times framing the daily lives of “Martyred Saints”, “Super humans” that have routines and transgressions just as anyone else. (The musician who forgets he is mortal for a brief second and the lightning bolt of god touches his forehead, knighting this saint a forbearer of humanity – the husband who goes into a strip bar for directions, and is coincidentally spotted by his wife.) I am intrigued by the situational moments that could be explained, but the individual finds himself trapped by the circumstances. Through observation and perspective I make an earnest attempt at painting the honesty of humanity.