Todd Christensen: Trees Talk August 2019
Reception with the artist: Saturday, August 17th, 5-7
magpie at Overland Ranch 1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte El Prado, NM
Contact: Georgia Gersh firstname.lastname@example.org 781-248-0166
Recently appointed as the new leader of the New Mexico Film Office, Todd Christensen has spent the past couple of decades as a location scout. He is no stranger to trees, taking breaks on location to make a sketch at every opportunity. This show allows us to see Christensen’s trees in every light and season, each with a distinct personality. The work is certainly whimsical, but has a depth that comes from being a seasoned appreciator of nature.
From the artist: "This show is about Trees, and a few other things. When I was a kid, I loved to climb trees, especially to pick apples. Trees fascinated me either by climbing or lying on the ground and looking up. As a young boy they felt majestic and mystical. I grew up in the small town of Yankton, South Dakota, which is situated next to the Missouri River. There were always so many kinds of trees to admire. Throughout my life I have felt a connection to trees, in all their wondrous diversity and resilience. From cut branches to mangled limbs, I felt a kin to and inspired by their ability to survive brutal winters, bitter winds, hard rains, punishing hail and heat, to be perfectly imperfect. I have also survived some challenging seasons and have grown stronger from them. What causes some to fall and others to strive forward? I do not judge the shape or trials of trees and I have learned to apply that to the human struggles I see all around me. I try to look at both trees and people with fascination, curiosity, a sense of wonder and awe. Trees cannot and do not hide their imperfections. I imagine they wear them as badges of honor and perseverance. They have no false self or guise, comfortable in their own worn and weathered skin, made more interesting and compassionate from their many experiences. Trees Talk and listen and continue. They are my political statement, my climate change statement and solution; they delight me always in all their shapes and configurations. The Quilt design: About a year ago I discovered an infant’s quilt from the 1920s. I hung it in my studio, across from my watercolor table, and its humble pattern and construction have been an inspiration to me. As a jumping off point, I found they were most at home, like me, with the trees. Then I riffed on the idea."