Showing december 2020

Chris Carman

eastside chris carman

Chris Carman - Assemblage Art

Chris has worked in the assemblage and collage mediums professionally since 1995. Pioneering artists Joseph Cornell and Robert Rauschenberg were two of his early influences. Where Cornell’s art paid homage to luminaries from ballet and film, Chris’ work often features blues masters and social justice advocates whom he admires. Chris has collected old photographs for years and has thousands to draw upon in “casting” evocative figures and faces for his artwork. He also has an extensive collection of found objects which bring visceral associations to his art. Even the old boxes, drawers and other encasements holding his artwork, lend individual character to each piece. 

Chris frequently incorporate short quotes, reflecting his belief that if approached with nuance, the combination of images and words can deepen each other, much like music and lyrics do. Locally, Chris participated in the juried Iowa Arts Festival from 2000-2007 and the Eastside Artists collective in recent years. He also had two gallery shows at CSPS in Cedar Rapids in 2018-2019. Iowa City-based musicians, Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown own several pieces of Chris’ blues art and through their connections (and other avenues), his art is now in the collections of Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Mark Knopfler, Greg Brown, Dr. John, Eric Burdon, Dave Moore and a number of other accomplished musicians.

"Your artwork brings good energy into my house." -Bo Ramsey

Chris donates a significant portion of the proceeds from blues art sale to The Musicmaker Relief Foundation that provides practical support to elderly blues artists on very limited incomes.  He makes similar contributions to local social and environmental justice organizations in connection with the sale of artwork with those themes.

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"Its funny, some people call these shadow boxes, but your art brings things out of the shadows and into the light."

Cathy G - art patron

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