Chris Sedgwick was born in Florida in 1981 and began painting at a young age. He graduated from Florida State University and began a career in painting after moving to Asheville, NC. His inspiration spans from the spiritual to the scientific and his work often evokes intense emotional responses. His work is in numerous private collections worldwide and is housed in the permanent collections of Richard Kessler, Florida State University and Western Carolina University. Sedgwick shares his time between the mountains of Colorado and western North Carolina; drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of both regions.
“The inter-penetrating layers of symbolism, mysticism, and narrative in my work constitute a timeless world of ancient rituals and divinatory rites. In synthesizing techniques of the old masters, ancient mystical teachings, and contemporary science, my work focuses on the uniqueness and universality of inner landscapes and transcendent experience.”
“I seek to document, while creatively subtracting, adding, and rearranging the creations of philosophers past. Many spiritual disciplines influence my work, chief among them though not limited to, the Western Esoteric traditions of Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism, and Astrotheology. I do not feel the need to belong to any religious organization or practice any form of rigid spirituality. Instead, I attempt to practice and value the transcendent abilities of observation and nature which are accessible to every individual.
My most important scholarly influence is Joseph Campbell, a 20th century researcher of comparative mythology best known for his PBS series "The Power of Myth". Campbell's writing succeeds in getting to the heart of a spiritual discipline by examining its core movements and translating them to a universal understanding. His form of investigation without judgment is the practice with which I most align myself and hope to emulate.
I use spiritual symbols and concepts because I love the complex yet simple beauty with which they communicate. The alchemical emblems of authors past, the beautiful allegorical works of Botticelli and other Renaissance masters are an endless inspiration to me; they render context with beauty. The contemporary American Art World has left the arena of spiritual art, considering it cliché, kitsch, or an area of specialization that doesn't need to be examined. I believe there is still creativity left in the discipline of spiritual art, where one can make up their own spirituality and rearrange without irony. Spiritual art is still relevant and can yield beauty with thoughtful purpose, the highest form of expression."
Website: Chris Sedgwick
Videos and written explanations: Chris Sedgwick's Concepts Page
The Eternal Formation. Oil on canvas; 121.9 x 152.4 cm (48″ x 60″).
The Nature of Self. Oil, gold and silver leaf on canvas; 175.2 x 152. 4 cm (69″ x 60″).
The Three Fates. Gold leaf on birch; 76.2 x 121.9 cm (30″ x 48″ ).