Bryan Christie – Every Angel is Terror

February 02 - March 31, 2018 Request information about this piece


“That yellow light stays with me. I don’t know what [Bryan Christie’s] luminous chutes literally depict; they come where his pigments, and the anatomy they describe, are densest and darkest. Here, too, flesh lends itself to metaphor, and the embodiment of a spiritual conundrum. As Victor Hugo wrote, “What makes night within us may leave stars.” – The Boston Globe


“What would Leonardo have done with radiography? What might Michelangelo have accomplished had 3-D modeling been available? What heights of the mind would a neo-Platonist like Piero della Francesca have witnessed if he had lived long enough to see calculus?

Tools aren’t everything, and those men were products of their time as much as we are of ours. Yet here we are, the beneficiaries of ingenious systems and electronic contraptions that make commonplace feats that were impossible within not-very-distant memory. Meanwhile, the artistic achievements of the Renaissance have never ceased to evoke awe. Their craft and emotional effect seem somehow too mighty to emulate. When it comes to art, we are more powerful than ever before and as helpless as we’ve ever been.

Into this overlap between the centuries-old Western figurative tradition and the possibilities of technology steps Bryan Christie. Jazz musician by training, medical illustrator by vocation, and religious aspirant by temperament, as a visual artist Christie is taking part in an ancient and ongoing effort to depict the human body in a manner that expresses a reality beyond mere flesh.” The Weekly Standard


“Bryan Christie’s solo exhibition, Every Angel is Terror, offers tangible evidence that the categories we create for the sake of language—art, science, religion, poetry—dissolve at a point of convergence. On view at Matter & Light, this exhibition grasps at what is sought out by scientific inquiry and spiritual exploration alike: the unseen, unknown, and unnamable. No less artist than alchemist, Christie combines his knowledge of digital illustration, human biology, spirituality, and art practice into works that bring the immaterial into the material realm.” Big Red & Shiny


“Bryan Christie’s inventive display of the human body becomes a noiseless response to the repetitive, self-important, over-glorified or blatantly political canvas – all too often regurgitated in contemporary art. Honest and unabashed, his work, in its own right, displays a passionate affair with anatomy and all its truths, ugliness and splendor. A bit chilling, yes, and beautiful; but life, wholly examined, is – from beginning to end – chilling and beautiful, too.”  Artslant

*Click here for Artnet exhibition page with details and prices*


Matter & Light is delighted to announce “Every Angel is Terror”, the solo debut of New York artist Bryan Christie. Christie’s work explores connections between science and spirituality, technology and art, in bold, inventive fashion. These connections are embedded in the techniques Christie employs, and lushly evident in the stunning products of those techniques.

Christie starts by creating renderings that are visually similar to MRIs. To create the imagery, he uses 3D software and poses an anatomically correct human model with its internal systems in digital 3D space. A virtual camera is spun around the figure making renderings at every 30-60º. Then 3 – 12 of the renderings are composited in Photoshop. From there each individual layer is printed on silk chiffon. After covering a wood panel with encaustic, a layer of silk is placed on it and welded to the encaustic using a blow torch and heat gun. Another layer of silk is added and the process is repeated. Watch a beautiful video of the process here:

Artist’s Statement:

Physicists and mystics tell us we are made of limitless energy. Yet the world is experienced as hard-edged, concrete, full of boundaries and constraints. The play of the energetic, limitless and absolute nature that is housed in this spacesuit we call our body, that lives in this material world with its limits of time and space, is my subject.

Transcendence and the experience of the sublime are rooted in material existence. Divinity makes itself evident through tangible and physiological experience. Without the physical self, there would not be the experience of moments of wonder and the mysterious.

My work is a meditation on the relationship between our physical and spiritual selves. I believe our deepest spirit expresses itself through the messy, intrinsic beauty of our bodies. That beauty, mystery, energy and wonder, which is our birthright, is what I explore. – BC


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