Christophe Roberts

MY STORY

Hailing from the inner city of Chicago, Christophe Roberts was introduced to art at early age. Under the guidance of his aunt, who ran summer art camps for neighboring under-privileged youth, Christophe first unleashed his creativity on the linoleum of her kitchen floor – cutting paper plates into varying shapes and sizes and compiling them together. By 12 years old, he accompanied neighbors to local live paintings, where he would be challenged to construct pieces from memory and imagination.

 
 

From As early as 12 years old he remembers using shapes as a part of his process. Not only do shapes have symbiotic value, Christophe recognizes the power in space and the imperativeness of using whatever he deemed necessary to elucidate an emotion—which eventually evolved from constructing works from memory as a youth, to creating enormous visual pieces in the abstract and the wildly metamorphic creations of his sculptures with both digital compositions and well crafted carvings that emphasizes the importance of finding authenticity in his own work.

 

Growing up in Chicago, in the heyday of Hip-Hop and rebel culture, Christophe has been creating art that is a perfect fusion of an urban cityscape combined with his early days of questioning the conditions around him through his art.

 

Although Christohpe’s work—be it graphic design or installation work—alludes to many influences, he can remember the early days of 90’s Hip Hop like going to his first concert, the prolific KRS One. You can easily see influences of artists like Jacob Lawrence and Todd McFarlane. On the other hand, being exposed to the Japanimation of Akira and the Afro-Caribbean celebration Junkanoo can be added to vision in Christophe’s approach.

 

In many ways, inspiration and motivation comes growing up around the strong women in his life, “My family is very creative and truly inspired me to express my creativity. My mother is a strong female entrepreneur who taught for over thirty years before becoming a principal. My aunt, Gloria Ward, managed art centers around Chicago for inner city youth so these two women were great influences.”  

 

The technicality and precision in Christophe’s art is akin to his time at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.

 

Christophe reflects, “Being at Cornish was a period that solidified my hunger for more. I knew I wanted to leave Chicago. I wanted to create on more than just canvases. I didn’t want to be constricted creatively. I wanted to travel so I did and immersed myself in many cultures, which all ended up expanding my palate.”

 

Much of Christophe’s work—including his iconic sculptures made solely from repurposed Nike boxes—has been exhibited in notable galleries like Lyons Wier Gallery (New York, 2011), shown during his noteworthy tenure at the Zhou B Art space and a massive collection of pieces were displayed and sold at the internationally acclaimed 2010 Next Art: Chicago exhibition. All of which led to his 2011 editorial feature in Hi Fructose Magazine.

 

Escaping the confines of just one medium, Christophe uses his extensive knowledge of art and technology to deftly balance a sense of freestyle, scientific meticulousness and learned execution of the inspiration at hand.

 

Naturally, living in New York has expanded Christophe’s repertoire even more.  Like his large work, Christophe Roberts’ artistic trajectory has been robust with his Nike installation to help launch its Always On campaign at the flagship store in Downtown Manhattan; Nike continued to recognize the relevance of Roberts work—even if it is sometimes seen in direct confrontation with capitalism—by commissioning a sculpture in Kobe Bryant’s likeness for the Los Angeles-based store located in the famed Staples Center.

 

The 2013 exhibition at Wallplay, in collaboration with Hip Hop royalty Wu-Tang, circles back to the early days of Christophe’s work, as he puts it, “Seeing that my childhood was embodied by their culture, slang and music. The legend of G.F.K was created to tell the story of Ghostface Killa, giving a mythological approach to this character of the Wu-Tang.”

 

Without a doubt, producing work that is true to his own story has allowed Christophe, and an amalgamation of his creative passions and personal narrative, to demonstrate how his own cultural resonance continues to defy gravity and transcend boundaries across the spectrum of art.