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Roll Call: Bay Area Arts and Culture
Twin Peaks soundtrack, released in 1990 by American composer Angelo Badalamenti, born in 1937. He has worked closely with director David Lynch and produced soundtracks for projects like Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive, and Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks Theme
Laura Palmer’s Theme
The Bookhouse Boys
Into The Night
Night Life In Twin Peaks
Dance Of The Dream Man
Love Theme From Twin Peaks
Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart
The World Spins
Join DJ Margaret in conversation with artist and writer CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL from Los Angeles to chat about his work and read from his recently published novel-length artist’s book titled Sniper.
CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL employs photography, bookmaking, writing, drawing, and digital–media printmaking to illustrate his explorations of the darker side of the human psyche. Investigating, and sometimes fabricating, the reasons people live or behave outside of socially acceptable margins, his work offers visions of what many would deem dirty, broken, useless, or criminal. Through the lens of a present–day flâneur, viewers are made privy to Russell’s observant, analytical wanderings along the physical and emotional outskirts of society.
Steeped in historical references, Russell seamlessly fuses photography, writing and object making to create all–encompassing environments that challenge the traditional divide between these practices and expands the very idea of what a book is. The seemingly disparate aesthetic elements of an installation are in fact deliberately chosen and constructed as reiterations of themes in the text. Heavy with the psychological implications of home, interior, and family, and inspired by decadent writers of the late nineteenth century, his narratives are rich in often unsettling details that build toward catastrophe. Simultaneously, Russell refreshes for our millennium the experiments in poetic strategies applied to prose by the New Narrative writers of the 1970s and 1980s, adding layers of meaning and possible interpretation.
Christopher Russell’s artworks can be seen as portraits in absentia: of individuals and families who’ve fallen through the cracks, and of their ailing environments. Employing “intermingled layers of narrative and images,” and materials such as floral fabrics, glitter, dirt, and hacked and scratched photographs, Russell gives us sun–bleached, ripped, splattered, graffittied, murky, erotic, sullied, elegant evidence of resilience and destruction.
Russell received his BFA from California College of the Arts and Crafts in San Francisco in 1998 and his MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2004. From 2001 to 2005 Russell edited, designed, produced, and distributed the “destroy–to–enjoy” literary art zine Bedwetter. He was the subject of a 2009 Hammer Museum Projects solo exhibition and is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. He has also exhibited his work at Acuna Hansen, Samuel Freeman, Circus Gallery—all in Los Angeles; White Columns, New York; Van Harrison Gallery (Gallery 1R), Chicago; and other venues. His novel Sniper, being edited by Amy Gestler, will be published in late 2010. Landscape, a monograph on his work, was published in 2007 by Kolapsomal Press. Russell edited and wrote an essay for the catalog that accompanied his curatorial debut, Against the Grain at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in 2008. Additionally, he has written more than two dozen articles and reviews about art in Los Angeles. Russell’s work is in various public collections, including the Hammer Museum/Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, J.P. Getty Museum Research Institute; New York University; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Russell’s new book, Sniper, is his sixth, using illustration as much as text, takes a very loose and imaginary look at The Baltimore Snipers, examining the relationships of paired serial killers as an ultimate expression of repressed desire. In Sniper, Christopher Russell writes a perverse version of the classic American love story, told through the narrative chaos of nameless characters, past-life flashbacks, false recollection, parental and bureaucratic influence that define the psychological space of the outsider. The text’s 200 full-color pages are profusely illustrated, reproducing Russell’s first set of drawings scratched into photographic emulsion, which has now become his signature style. The release of Sniper revives the Bedwetter brand, which achieved notoriety during its 12 issue existence with a destroy-to-enjoy design strategy and an embrace of difficult literary and visual material. With Sniper, Russell has created a design and layout that makes the process of reading its own adventure.
For more information on artist Christopher Russell and his visual work and writings visit
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles: luisdejesus.com
Budget Decadence 2009, exhibition curated by Darin Klein, with artist talk and essay by Amy Gerstler, Hammer Museum Projects, Los Angeles.
All images courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
at 7:05 PM