Closely Observed: Paintings by Christopher Clamp
December 16, 2023 - March 3, 2024
Born in Leesville, South Carolina, in 1979, Christopher Clamp earned a bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in painting from Winthrop University in 2001.
As he has written:
I was raised in a small town in South Carolina named Leesville—long since changed to Batesburg-Leesville— that was built on agriculture and textiles. My family— farmers and mill workers all—taught me the value of hard work and community early in life. My parents worked long hours and strange shifts to make ends meet, so my grandparents helped to raise my brother and me. I enjoyed helping my grandfather work in his gardens and fields, listening to all the stories he had to share about nature, people and morals. He collected a variety of odd items, from old tools to old toys. As a child, I played with these things, which came to take on different meanings. Oftentimes, these objects came to personify people I knew (or would like to know) and represented elements of my grandfather’s legacy, too.
In this recent body of work, I continue to explore the power of the commonplace and the drama created by the juxtaposition of objects to other, related objects. Some paintings are simple and playful, while other paintings are many-layered. Their meanings are personal to each viewer, and careful inspection reveals elements of narrative. The paintings may evoke nostalgia, connecting the viewer to a memory or to a place long forgotten. I want to engage viewers in dialogue and encourage them to look deeper into themselves and their personal experiences—from the place where they started, to where they are now.
Christopher Clamp’s work is represented in many public, private, and corporate collections, including that of the Morris Museum of Art. He is represented by the Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.