Mixed media artist brings his 1st U.S. solo exhibit to The Chambers Project | TheUnion.com

Mixed media artist brings his 1st U.S. solo exhibit to The Chambers Project

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Christian Calabro's "Office Party" will be shown at The Chambers Project in Nevada City.
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On July 20, The Chambers Project will feature a collection of 15 mixed media pieces titled “Shreds” by internationally renowned designer and fine artist Christian Calabro.

Originally from Zurich, Calabro came to New York City to study graphic design and his talent immediately landed him employment at Atlantic, Verve and Warner Records, among many others. The fiercely competitive market pushed him to refine every last detail of album cover art for musical giants like Tony Bennett, Rage Against the Machine and Depeche Mode. His work even earned him two Grammy nominations, but he also watched up close as the recording industry convulsed and sales plunged.

Witnessing these changes, Calabro was gripped by a need to move away from the computer and use his hands again. He scavenged weathered music posters from city walls all over the world in an almost archeological way of remembering. Drawn to a face or a font, he would tug at an aging corner and see what came off. Then he started to experiment with applying these little scraps of history to surfaces.

Calabro layers his torn treasures sometimes 20 or 30 strips deep before again peeling them away. It’s a process of obscuring and rediscovering he then articulates further using charcoal or acrylic.

What remains are filaments of time, glimpses of obscure musical aspiration, and distressed commercial imagery embellished by Calabro’s paintbrush. He said in a recent interview, “You forget what’s there. Once you start digging, you find the unexpected,” which is true of the process, and in a way, the experience of viewing the end result.

With this exhibit, The Chambers Project has continued to carve out a niche by finding established artists with a strong international track record and presenting their first U.S. shows.

“Christian’s work has a real raw depth to it, ” said Brian Chambers, the owner of the new art space in Nevada City. “It’s an honor to host his first dedicated U.S. show.”

“Shreds” opens on July 20, with an artist reception from 5-9 p.m. For more, go to http://www.thechambersproject.com.

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