The work of Christopher Culver stems from an ongoing search for images that reveal traces of human presence. First captured in photographic snapshots, his subjects expose psychological qualities felt within waning American contexts. He renders the architecture of intimate relationships, or lack thereof, that exist within spaces of urban estrangement.
In his works on paper, Culver portrays vacant cityscapes, forgotten still lifes and domestic spaces, through an almost sculptural drawing process. Layers of charcoal and pastel are built up and erased, embedding lost fragments of text and imagery within them. The resulting grainy surfaces enhance the filmic quality of his darkly veiled compositions and imply a sense of degradation. With a forensic sensibility, Culver repeats his subjects across multiple works, heightening their mysterious significance, as if distilled from a larger, unspecified narrative.
In Manhattan, Culver continues to uncover imagery in his surroundings. Through animals, objects, and spaces observed mostly inside or near his apartment and studio, he conveys subtle moments of empathy and human connection. He introduces pigeons as a new recurring figure within his otherwise scarcely inhabited compositions, pairing them with synthetic plush bunnies. Culver’s subjects, inanimate or not, convey a human-like spirit with a disarming capacity for affection and closeness.
Christopher Culver (b. 1985 Miami, Florida) lives and works in New York. He received his MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013 where he studied at the School of Fine Arts and School of Architecture. Culver has had solo exhibitions at Chapter NY, New York; The Meeting, New York; A.D., New York; Redling Fine Arts, Los Angeles; Yautepec, Mexico City; and Queen’s Nails Annex, San Francisco. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Crèvecoeur, Paris; Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; Collaborations, Copenhagen, DNK; ECHO, Cologne, DEU; Downs & Ross, New York; Et al. etc., San Francisco; Lomex, New York; and Page Gallery, New York, among others. Culver has an upcoming solo exhibition at Michael Benevento, Los Angeles in February 2024.