Reimagined Realism

Chris Leib

“Embedded within the intricate tapestry of my compositions lie a plethora of symbols and allegories, each inviting scrutiny and interpretation.”

Artist’s Statement:

With an expanding ensemble featuring Bonobos, intrepid astronaut juveniles, and regal figures adorned with helmets, I interrogate the trajectory of human evolution, tracing its precarious arc from antiquity to the present.

Though my work may seem whimsical on the surface, it delves into the profundities of heroism, Western mythos, and the dichotomy between primal instincts and societal restraint. Eschewing the conventional portrayal of primates as agents of chaos, I subvert this trope, portraying them as sagacious observers who mimic and reinterpret pivotal moments from the annals of Western history.

Central to my discourse is the notion of heroism, an archetype deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Astronauts and cosmonauts, as avatars of exploration on the frontier of possibility, epitomize this archetype, embodying humanity’s perpetual quest for transcendence. Yet, in my tableau, these celestial pioneers are rendered with a nuanced complexity that challenges their hallowed status, prompting viewers to reconsider the mythos surrounding heroic endeavors.

The impulse for exploration, a quintessential human trait, is juxtaposed against the looming specter of existential peril, a recurrent motif in both art and literature. Within the realm of science fiction, a genre that often serves as a barometer of societal anxieties, the interplay between dystopian narratives and utopian aspirations reflects humanity’s ambivalent relationship with progress and its attendant risks.

Embedded within the intricate tapestry of my compositions lie a plethora of symbols and allegories, each inviting scrutiny and interpretation. These visual signifiers serve as conduits to intersecting pathways of power dynamics and historical contingencies, offering a nuanced reflection on humanity’s tenuous position within the grand narrative of evolution.

– Chris Leib

Chris Leib is an American artist from the San Francisco Bay Area now living in Carmel, CA. He studied Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. Afterwards he took classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco before apprenticing with an Italian classical portrait painter. He also worked for a number of years as an illustrator for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and designed the visual experience for national standardized tests.

Leib has twice been an Artist in Residence at the De Young Museum in San Francisco and has received competitive grants from the George Sugarman Foundation and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He was the founder of the Mission Artists, San Francisco. His work has been positively reviewed in Hi-Fructose, Huffington Post, Kunst Magazine, Village Voice, Beautiful Bizarre, HEY!, LA Weekly, Cyberzone and BloPop. He exhibits his artwork across the United States, Australia and Europe.

Queen of Eros
Chris Leib

Chris Leib

Cherry Pickers
Chris Leib