Chris Musina writes -- "My work considers the animal in visual culture, and I have started thinking about things like masks, traps and trinkets, specifically what those types of things might mean in the lexicon of what is animal. This research delves into the darker aspects of the animal as it leads to conversations in post-humanism and a critical response to the hubris of the anthropocene. I have an interest in subjects like terror management theory, deep ecology, and nihilism more specifically as they relate to representing animals and the cultural discomfort with the animal inside of us all. In an attempt to erode those comfortable boundaries between nature and culture, I work in the liminal space between the wild and the domestic, the humorous and the horrific, the acceptable and the absurd.
Making works loaded with odd references and built on an interrogative spirit, not looking for answers but asking questions - I am probing the balance point where the lines between human and animal are obscured, and the nature/culture binary is washed away in oil paint, ink or recycled hunting decoys. Chris Musinas work is an investigation of the bleaker aspects of animal representation via painting, drawing and sculpture. Through the lens of post-humanities, questioned ecologies, and dark humor, he mines source material from art history, nature illustration, hunting kitsch and the like."
A Canadian living in the US born to Southern European immigrants, Chris was raised between Toronto, Ontario and Southwest Florida. He holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BFA from the University of South Florida. His work and writing have been featured in publications such as New American Paintings, Beautiful Decay, and Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. He has shown across the US and his native Canada, and has received awards for his work from the likes of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Culture & Animals Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation (who are partially funding this show). Chris currently lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.