21 Under 31 | Chris Santa Maria

JULIE, OIL, 48 x 36.
JULIE, OIL, 48 x 36.

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

BORN: Phoenix, AZ.

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts in painting from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

STYLE: “Figurative representation with raw abstraction.”

FIRST ART SALE: “In third grade I sold a small pencil drawing of the animated TV characters the Simpsons, which paid for a cherry snow cone.”

SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: “An esoteric rock star à la David Byrne, circa 1980s.”

MANTRA OR MOTTO: “Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience. A rustling in the leaves drives him away,” from Walter Benjamin.

QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I watch C-SPAN like most guys watch ESPN.”

BIGGEST FEAR: “The landscape of feeling.”

FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: Charles Mingus, Radiohead, The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Wu-Tang Clan, Talking Heads, and Bob Dylan.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “In order for the artist to have a world to express, he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men,” from Charles Baudelaire.

FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: Lately it’s a tie between Gustave Courbet’s THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD and Matthew Barney’s THE CREMASTER CYCLE.

PRICE RANGE: $1,000 to $6,000.

NEXT BIG GOAL: “To paint better paintings than the paintings I’ve been painting.”

CREATIVE SPARK: “The greatness of the past.”

I’LL KNOW I’VE MADE IT WHEN: “I run out of meaning.”

GALLERIES: www.chrissantamaria.org.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31” article in September 2008