Artist, UCF alumnus Chris Reason shows work at CityArts Factory
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 15:08
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the world is but a canvas to our imaginations. That idea is exactly what local artist Clive Christopher Campbell Jr. hopes to communicate to viewers of his first art showcase, “Animated,” which debuted at the downtown venue CityArts Factory on Aug. 16.
Campbell, who goes by the artist name of “Christopher Reason,” is a 27-year-old UCF alumnus who received a degree in animation in 2008. The Tampa native’s showcase has the running theme of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” with an array of paintings that portray sheep and wolves in ways that require a second look for viewers to find the deeper meaning.
Campbell’s showcase has a featured character called “Logik." Logik is the wolf who, in various paintings, dresses in a sheep hoodie. Campbell explained that the sheep represent the suppressed common people and the wolves are people with power and greed. He uses zippers in several of his paintings because of the way they can reveal and hide at the same time — a theme behind many of the featured works at his showcase.
“I basically try to sketch something every day, and I take inspiration from things I see online or things that happen in life,” Campbell said.
Ever since he was young, Campbell showed an interest in art, especially in drawings of Saturday morning cartoons. Campbell said he draws inspiration from artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Japanese artists and enjoys how they paint with bright and youthful colors. He exemplifies these ideas in his artwork through his use of attention to detail, precision and sharpness.
Campbell transferred to UCF from Brevard Community College in order to finish his degree. There he met John Terramoccia, a 2009 UCF alumnus with a bachelor’s in art, through a 3-D sculpture class. Campbell, Terramoccia and fellow student Richard Gordon went on to start Diversitile, a company that customizes shoes and clothing with the goal of putting a modern, fresh and graphic spin on everyday wear. They have been working together ever since.
“We are basically just a bunch of artists that customize sneakers, and from there we kind of blew up from our line. That was kind of my transition as far as fine art majoring in cartoons and animation. I went from that to this, actually hand-painted artwork and on canvas,” Campbell said.
“Chris’ style varies quite a bit, because with Diversitile, it’s very detail-oriented and more realistic because it is rendered on a shoe as opposed to on a canvas,” said Terramoccia. “The style is more hard edge and animated. He really has the ability to touch all bases. He has the ability to do a photorealistic painting and then turn around and do a cartoon, comic-style painting.”
Leena Buchy, the manager for CityArts Factory, also had time to work with Campbell in the process of getting his showcase ready for opening night. She described Campbell as one of the many unique and different artists who were on display this month with a very fresh, new style who is also very personable.
“He has had a very positive general response from the general public, and [his artwork] definitely appeals to a younger crowd,” Buchy said.
Campbell’s works, along with those of fellow artist ArkOne, will remain on display at the CityArts Factory until Sept. 16 in the ReDefine Gallery. All pieces, as well as prints, are available for purchase.