Escape From LA includes hand altered photographs by artist Christopher Russell. The exhibition is on view April 5 through May 13, 2017 with a preview reception on April 5 from 5:00 to 7:00pm. Upfor is open for the First Thursday art walk on April 6 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. An artist talk in the form of a Q&A with Virginia Heckert, Curator and Head of the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, takes place on Saturday, May 13 at 4:00pm. The exhibition and events are open to the public and free to attend.
Russell’s debut exhibition at Upfor highlights four projects developed during a nomadic period beginning in 2011, with a special presentation of images from Landscape, a 1996 series of black and white images of public sex shot through a hole in the artist’s jacket pocket.
Christopher Russell has regularly reinvented his practice to avoid easy categorization. He made his mark in Los Angeles with irreverent installations of altered photographs paired with transgressive, fictional texts, sharing the chaotic aesthetic of his ‘zine, Bedwetter. After leaving Los Angeles, Russell traveled the country, eventually settling in Portland, Oregon. During this period, his work became slower, combining laborious scratching of the photographic print surface with other layers of material experimentation such as spray paint.
His imagery is often ambiguous and fractured, reflecting his exploration of the darker aspects of the human psyche. “I've come to think of photography as a medium that accepts the blunt line of the hand as a shock to surface uniformity, creating interplay between the immediacy of the hand and that of photograph,” Russell explains.
Christopher Russell (b. 1974 in Sacramento, California) lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He received his BFA from The California College of Arts and Crafts and his MFA from the Art Center College of Design, California. His work is in numerous museum collections, including the Getty Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His work has been the subject of positive review by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, Artillery, Frieze and Artforum, among others.