Chris Roberts-Antieau, contemporary art textile portraits
Chris Roberts-Antieau‘s “fabric paintings” are composed from freehand-cut cloth shapes, hung behind glass in hand-painted frames. Today the best folk art galleries across the country offer her work, which has also won major awards at the prestigious Ann Arbor and St. Louis Art Fairs, and the attention of HGTV and Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Magazine.
True to her roots, Chris’s gaze is still distinctly child-inspired. Her compositions have the delightfully off-kilter feeling of children’s drawings, and the subjects sometimes seem to be a child’s choosing as well: “Playing With Dolls”, “Bad Dog”, or “Bug Jar”. But like her better-known inspirations, Picasso, Miro, and Van Gogh, Chris takes the honesty, freedom, and new perspective of children’s art to a new level. She doesn’t just mimic a child’s style—she applies a child’s eye to adult realities, reminding viewers not to take themselves too seriously, and giving them a chance to remember again the wonder and joy that children find in the everyday.
“People always want to know what my work is about,” Chris says. “But I’m an artist, not a writer. If I could put it into words, then I wouldn’t have to make the pictures.” Everyone who sees her art brings something different to it, she believes, and she’s happy with that.
But while the meaning of a given piece may not be clear-cut, Chris does have some sense of what she’s trying to get across. “My vision of the world is joy-based,” she says. “Even when awful things happen to me, I’ve found wonderful things along the way. That’s what my art is about: the joy and wonder and humor that’s all around us, every day.”