CHRISTOPHER ST. LEGER
Long devoted to watercolor, Christopher St. Leger turned his creative exploration to painting in oil in early 2015. Instinctively, he has drawn on his application of a water-based medium to the process of painting in oils to create luminous surfaces on canvas and panel.
St. Leger chooses to paint from a low perspective, "as from a car's headlights," he notes. AUTOMOTIVE, the show's title, references this angle and suggests a momentary view from a car window. Compositionally, he adheres to the reality of perspective while stylistically embracing a more expressionistic exposure creating what he calls an automotive pastoral . . . exploring a new city without a map. A joyride of attention on the visual.
Our culture is an automotive one. Still, I'm interested in its experiential benefits. While day-to-day linear movement measures our drive and promotes our well-being, inside, the passenger is passive and reflective, unburdened from decisions.
Painting for me is simulating this experience of a passenger. I am contained. From my containment I gaze upon an arena marked by exhaust, haste, and turbulence. I see others, but mostly I see their containers. We are aligned and in accordance.
St. Leger continues to explore the enigmatic connection of mood and place as he captures fleeting urban views and cities he knows well. Regardless the locale—Chicago or New York, Budapest or Vienna—he invokes a dialogue between artist and surroundings, between a cautious being and an irrational force.
Christopher St. Leger was born in northwest Indiana in 1973. He studied architecture in Ohio and in Budapest, Hungary, and now lives in central Texas with his wife and two children. He allows time for seasonal travel and returns to Hungary annually.