Installation View, (2014). Courtesy the artist and Ibid. London and Los Angeles. Photo: Marten Elder.
“Pappi Chulo,” (2014). Oil stick, oil paint, pencil, charcoal on canvas. 220 x 300 centimeters. Courtesy the artist and Ibid, London and Los Angeles. Photo: Marten Elder.
“Tales of a slippery hot dog,” (2014). Oil stick, oil paint, pencil, oil, charcoal on canvas. 200 x 260 centimeters. Courtesy the artist and Ibid, London and Los Angeles. Photo: Marten Elder.
A Thousand Separate Heavens for All My Flying Parts
Despite the occupations and the preoccupations we choose (whether they hue closer to light or nearer to the dark—or whether we volley between the two with a bipolar clarity) at the end of it all our forks converge. Painter Christian Rosa uses his pencil, oil, and spray-painted works—and their titling—to coolly embrace these dichotomies. His large abstract canvases with titles like "Dead on Arrival" and "We Live" have been shown in bisecting atmospheric conditions: the Saatchi Gallery in London and Ibid Projects in Los Angeles, while finding roots in his own hometown of Rio De Janeiro. His early work, abstractions of the filth and holiness that Rio offers, allow equal parts distance and intimacy between the surroundings of their viewings. That’s a bold statement, we know, and he’s only 32, so to avoid the trappings of creating some loaded meaning here we will simply say Rosa is doing a fine job bounding between: Light, dark. Abstraction, humor. Rio de Janiero, Vienna, and now Los Angeles. And—carrying the now urban rot of his surroundings with a cheery smirk—Death, and metabolizing a Chateau Marmont cheeseburger.
How do you define loss? I define loss as losing a good friend (in terms of dying). Losing the fight against ordering a burger again in the Chateau Marmont. Losing in any competition and becoming second. There are so many definitions of loss to me—maybe too many, now that I think about it… Shit.
What would you like to be reborn as? A Super Nerd Unicorn, of course. What a question.
Describe the unique power paintings have over our emotions? The unique power painting has: A lot of cheese [and] hot sauce and it will burn twice once you eat it, and the second time you will know once the emotions kick in.
Do you find creativity flows easier or with more obstruction as you age? Creativity is a normal given thing to people. Some have it, some don’t. I think it’s a God-given thing and it comes natural to some [and] to some not. To me it’s just doing what I have to do, to do it and have fun.
What to you defines a strong work ethic? Not [starting to drink] before five p.m. and [skating] the ramp in my backyard all day.
If a piece of music could accompany your current show at Ibid, what would it be? Beethoven’s "Eroica." It fits perfectly. Is it the third symphony or the fourth? I always mix [that] up.