“Shreds” By Christian Calabrò
Opening July 20th, 2019
On July 20, 2019, The Chambers Project featured a collection of fifteen mixed media pieces entitled Shreds by internationally renowned designer and fine artist Christian Calabrò.
Originally from Zurich, Calabrò came to New York City to study graphic design and his talent immediately landed him employment at Atlantic, Verve, and Warner Records – among many others. The fiercely competitive market pushed him to refine every last detail of album cover art for musical giants like Tony Bennett, Rage Against the Machine, and Depeche Mode. His design work even earned him two Grammy nominations, but he also watched up close as the recording industry convulsed and sales plunged.
Witnessing these changes, Calabrò was gripped by a need to move away from the computer and use his hands again. He scavenged weathered music posters from city walls all over the world in an almost archeological way of remembering. Drawn to a face or a font, he would tug at an aging corner and see what came off. Then he started to experiment with applying these little scraps of history to surfaces.
Calabrò layers his torn treasures sometimes 20 or 30 strips deep before again peeling them away. It’s a process of obscuring and rediscovering that he then articulates further using charcoal or acrylic.
What remains are filaments of time, glimpses of obscure musical aspiration, and distressed commercial imagery embellished by Calabrò’s paintbrush. He said in a recent interview, “You forget what’s there. Once you start digging, you find the unexpected,” which is true of the process, and in a way, the experience of viewing the end result. The works that will appear in the Northern California show range from 12’’x12” to 40’’x40.’’
With this exhibit, The Chambers Project has continued to carve out a niche by finding established artists with a strong international track record and presenting their first US shows. “Christian’s work has a real raw depth to it, ” says Brian Chambers, the owner of the successful new art space in Nevada City, “it’s an honor to host his first dedicated U.S. show.”
Press for the Exhibition
“Shreds”: Christian Calabro Holds International Debut @ The Chambers Project