by Christine Rasmussen
As a painter I investigate the in-between, depicting urban landscapes that hover between familiar and imagined. In observing these cityscapes devoid of people, I play with themes of belonging versus aloneness, memory versus daydream, and narrative versus abstraction.
These themes interest me as a global nomad who has often found myself hovering between multiple cultures, time zones, languages and identities. Close observation of my surroundings in every city I encounter reveals recurring materials, shadows or shapes that I paint as symbols of our shared humanity across perceived differences. Through capturing these commonalities – the wondrous details of urban environments – in my paintings, I explore the many complexities and multiple identities of our rich inner lives.
My paintings capture spaces that most people pass daily but don’t notice. In documenting them – and often beautifying the banal through my bold color choices, dramatic skies, or shadow play – these everyday spaces become worthy of contemplation. For example, a corrugated metal fence is a barrier, a boundary, a dividing space signifying the aloneness and disconnection common in today’s societies. But the fence is also a common building material used all over the world, often as shelter, and serves as a point of familiarity even in a foreign place, evoking a sense of connection.
Working from my own reference photos, I use light, shadow and perspective to create geometric abstractions of ubiquitous urban settings. The “story” continues off the canvas, letting the viewer’s imagination step in.
Christine Rasmussen (b. 1987) is an American artist raised in Pakistan, Vietnam, and the United States. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, in Art Practice and Peace & Conflict Studies. Rasmussen is currently based in Los Angeles where she paints full time. Featured image by Christine Rasmussen: Beyond, oil on canvas, 2017, 24 x 30 inches. Used with permission.