This week I had the opportunity to meet Artist Christopher Linquata who likes to be called Christo. Christo is in his last year at CSULB in the masters program. Before entering the masters program, Christopher was teaching art but he wanted to become a better teacher and also a better painter. A lot of his inspiration actually comes from other artists and friends in the Masters program.
A lot of time and preparation go into each one of Christo’s paintings. His largest painting took four months to make with a month and a half of preparation. For each painting Christo prefers to use acrylic paint. His paintings consist of real and mythological stories which he wants the viewer to figure out which story is real. In most of his stories the background is based off of San Pedro Beach and other local areas like Long Beach. When looking at Christo’s instagram where you can find him by his username @icon5350, I noticed he likes to use gold for his framing of paintings. Also on his instagram you can see some of the characters in the paintings actually hanging out with him in the real world.
Christo is inspired by a lot of things like the artists in the masters program and also artists from the early renaissance and street art. The artists from the early renaissance that inspire him are Pierre de la francesca and Bien benito solini. A few nights before each show, Christo spends sleepless nights preparing for the show. Finishing his paintings, and making sure everything is in tact and perfect. You could see this on his instagram where he posts pictures using the hash tag #nosleep.
When observing Christo’s paintings I tried to determine which pieces were real stories or if they were fake. It looks like whether they were real or not, they were all based on the good times that he and his friends have had. Maybe the fake ones were dreams he had that he wanted to paint. My favorite piece was the one centered in the back that was titled “Death of Christo”. Death of Christo is comical to me because it’s so real to me. All of the time you see people passed out drunk on the beach with people around them not knowing that they are there. In this painting, he is passed out and there is a family playing around him on the rock just acting like he isn’t there. Why is this the Death of Christo if he isn’t actually dead? Is it because no one notices him? No one actually cares for his well being? If he were actually dead, would anyone care? This is what I think when I look at Death of Christo and why the artist named the painting that. It was a great week at the galleries and even better getting to meet the artist behind the paintings. Christo seems to be a great artist and an even better teacher and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.