Artist Statement

Chris BivinsI’ve been creating art, in some form or another, since I was four when I learned to draw under the tutelage of my older brother who drew pictures on poster board with toxic, government issue magic markers (there was no flesh color marker in those days, so everyone he drew was shades of orange and yellow). Since that time, fifty years ago, I’ve broadened my arsenal to include clay, wood, leather, paint, pixels and just about anything interesting that comes my way.

People ask why I make art and my answer is always the same; because I have to. It’s always gratifying (and a bit mystifying) when someone likes my work enough to lay down some hard earned cash for it. But even if that never happened I’d still be trying to turn things into art. I’d still be collecting gears and cogs and wood bits and glass and pieces of string so I could, eventually, turn them into something more.

Art, to me, is a kind of alchemy. It’s taking one thing and turning it, sometimes magically, into something else. Often I take wood and turn it into kindling, clay into pottery shards, paper into, well, recylable paper. But sometimes, I’m able to take paper, or clay, or wood and turn it into something almost magical. Something that didn’t exist before. Maybe not gold, but something. A friend once asked if I ever saw anything lying around that I couldn’t think of an artistic use for. I told him no. It’s all just base metal waiting to become gold.