THE INCORRIGIBLE COLLAGED MAN COMETH
Ladies and Germs, step right up, hurry hurry hurry, step right up, tomorrow and tomorrow only, OFF THE ORANGE presents the magnificent, the one, the only, the wretchedly obtuse and horrifyingly quixotic anti-ingenue collage bearer, Christopher Lawson. He’ll razzle, he’ll dazzle, he’ll turn your garbage into art. With a flurry of pop culture references never before uttered by a single man he shall weave woven tales of scandal and intrigue, art and music, theatre and film. He bubblefucks! He does what he wants to! He himself is made from a million parts, stitched and glued together with greater abandon than Dr. Frankenstein pieced together his monster! This show is guaranteed to give you, ladies and germs, the most sensational thrills you’ve ever seen inside two hours spent in Studio 20. Bring your scissors and glue! Bring a bib! Hold onto your hats and watch your backs!
i grew up on the largest reform school in the state of alabama: my dad was the warden & the warden’s family (my mom and sister, the occasional odd relative who came to stay during “transitional” periods, and me) lived in a big ramshackle house on the reform school campus. thinking back, i suppose it was kind of unusual growing up surrounded by hundreds of young criminals. but it didn’t feel strange then. they just seemed like other kids to me, although, technically, some of them had been charged with manslaughter, or kidnapping, or possession with intent to distribute. during summers, my sister and i ate lunch with these kids in the cafeteria practically every day. it was almost like any other middle-school cafeteria, except more kids got stabbed in the neck with forks, or hit in the face with lunch trays. after lunch we’d go swimming with the juvenile delinquents in the spring-fed swimming pool, or play an impromptu game of softball on the overgrown field next to the old water tower. my sister’s first crush was tony “grand theft auto”. he was small for thirteen, but his social worker told us he was absolutely teeny-tiny when, at age eleven, he’d hot-wired a pontiac lemans, and taken-off for nashville with johnny cash blasting out of the 8-track. my favorite of all these incarcerated kids, an italian-american kid named eddie, ended up killing himself one cold december night. it was a few days before christmas when eddie learned that neither of his parents, who had recently split-up, wanted to take him over the holiday break. so that night, after everyone had gone to sleep, eddie tied his pajamas together to fashion a noose, and hung himself from the transom over the large dormitory doors. i think as a result of growing up at a junior prison, my mind just naturally tends toward the rebellious and subversive. or maybe i was just always that way. at any rate, i don’t have many nightmares anymore. i usually work through most of the night anyway, creating paintings, collages and assemblages; and planning site-specific installations. the site-specific projects have taken me to india, pakistan, cambodia, northern ireland, haiti, poland, ground zero in new york city, and to small towns in my home state of alabama. i’m represented by ghost and bread in san francisco, and checkered house in chicago. i’ve had over a hundred exhibitions, including a mini-retrospective in 2009 at the corcoran in washington dc. my work is in thousands of collections worldwide including the private ones of wyclif jean, patti smith, will oldham, mike mogis, julianne moore, andy lemaster, and morgan spurlock. i do cd art and music videos for saddle creek records; and my works (stories, poems, illustrations and/or reviews) have appeared in hundreds of magazines (and on websites too) including artforum, artpapers, rolling stone, spin, paste, fader, manhattan poetry review, and online at juxapoz.com and ninjamagazine.com
– Chris Lawson