Much of Christopher’s work is centred around creating a mood, one that depicts a scene right on the edge between the feeling of calm and a sense of ominousness. Coupled with this, he’s drawn to places that put a viewer in another time, day or place.
Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania and other cities on the east coast, much of his youth was spent near rust belt citi...es along with the grime and decay; and he found himself rejecting things that were not new or standardised. Having lived in California for over a decade, he feels a long way away from his younger days and that he may have missed something along the way.
Ironically, he now finds himself drawn to places that feel out of touch or to things that feel like they are from the past. Maybe it’s an attempt to connect with the time and places from his youth; but this is not for nostalgia, not a statement that things were better back then. It is more like a reconciliation with the past, or it may simply be a more open and thoughtful consideration that comes with age.
COMMENTARY Imagine Edward Hopper, one of the great American artists of the 20th century, transposed to be a 21st century photographer. Taking the iconic American subject matter – cars in deserted American gas stations – Chris Soukup produces contemporary shots that exhibit a timeless quality. They contain narratives characterised by what the shot seems to omit, rather than what it represents.
The lack of detail invites the viewer to complete the image by speculating on what has, or is just about to, happen. The haunting power of his art is derived from this sparse realism, avoiding detail but suggesting any number of narratives. The beauty - and the story - is in the eye of the beholder.