CHRIS SILVA'S creative pursuits are firmly rooted in Chicago's urban culture. Chris was an innovative figure in Chicago’s early graffiti and skateboarding scenes and from that foundation proceeded to play a significant role in the development of what is now commonly referred to as "street art". Chris splits his time between working on large-scale commissions, producing gallery oriented work, and leading community-based public art projects. As a self taught sound artist with roots in DJ culture, Chris also produces music under the alias, Lavish Catastrophe Rivers.
I am concerned with how people relate to themselves, to each other, and to their environment. I'm deeply saddened by cruelty, xenophobia, and greed, and am motivated to give artistic presence to those concerns, and/or present an inspirational and generous alternative. I seek to make work which is engaging to children, speaks to the inner children of adults, and has a healthy dose of unpretentious complexity. I appreciate eye candy, but work to include a serving of soul food in my offerings. Though the source of my creative impulse is often a profound sadness, I strive for a sort of alchemy which works to transform pain into beauty.
I use the languages of visual art and sound because I’m attracted to their poetic, therapeutic, and transformative potentials. I enjoy weaving in literal representations, but I'm equally interested in the ways that the pure physical energies of sound, color, and form communicate abstractly. I aim to create visual work which is felt foremost intuitively, in much the same way music is experienced. It’s precisely because audio/visual languages operate more viscerally and strangely than words, that I continue to experiment with them. In my experience some combinations of ideas, colors, shapes, and sounds can achieve a resonance which promotes healing, heart softening, and rejuvenation, and that resonance is what I’m seeking to achieve. I am less interested in my audience having a comprehensive understanding of what they are looking at, than I am in making people feel that they are having a rich, substantive experience which shifts them in a positive way which they may carry into their next interactions with the world.
My frequent collaboration with others, appropriation, and reuse of material, is done as a celebration of the interconnected nature of being and as resistance to our self-obsessed, disposable culture. I see the harmonious composition of varied material as a metaphor for a more expansive harmony which is possible in our lives when healthy and mutually beneficial relationships are negotiated. My practice of collaboration seeks to pursue a less self-centric approach to art making – one which embraces sacrificing individual control and credit for the greater good of the projects and in service to the larger community.