Christopher Winter: Reflective Realities

Mindy Solomon
Jan 29, 2014 6:51PM

Mindy Solomon Gallery presents paintings by British artist Christopher Winter in an exhibition entitled ‘Reflective Realities.’ In this collection of works, the artist addresses the human yearning for the supernatural through his obsessive creation of illusion and manipulation of reality. An Opening Reception will be held Saturday, February 1st, from 6:00-9:00pm, with an artist talk by Winter at 7:00pm. The exhibition will be on view from February 1st through March 22nd. Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 172 NW 24th Street in the Wynwood Art District, Miami.

Winter’s compositions are often first read as harmless stories with rational explanations which run parallel to the modern world, or psychedelic inventions that seem to be far from reality. His images of flying rabbits, floating youngsters, and archaic painted faces can also be interpreted commentary on contemporary events, taboos, prejudice, and prohibitions—concepts found repeatedly in his works. For instance, Winter communicates on topics of sexual and hallucinogenic exploration among adolescents, as well as antiquated self-awareness rituals among modern youth. He believes that “subversive contradiction can take shape...where images are generally not allowed” and names his greatest artistic inspiration as at attempt to overcome such limits.

In Winter’s new works, which include ‘Postcards from a Parallel World,’ the artist posits divergent aspects of reality. The idea of postcards, whose typical purpose is to capture a real moment, is utilized here to portray an illusion instead. Winter's playful mirror imaging indicates a parallel world and creates a kaleidoscopic effect, confounding figurative representation. The series has been influenced by the novel ‘1Q84’ by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, which alludes to George Orwell's ‘1984.’ In contrast to Orwell, Murakami depicts a tear in the fabric of time which creates an alternative present—much like the subjects of Winter’s paintings. Presenting viewers with a second reality in these intensely narrative works, Winter combines the familiar with the unknown, the probable with the puzzling, and the mundane with the absurd.

Works in the exhibition are also taken from Winter’s 2011 series ‘Weird Science,’ and relate to the fabric of time and space and how our eye—the perceiver—can be fooled by simple tricks and magic illusions. In these paintings, we discover animals flying or being hurled over idyllic mountaintops, sometimes angry and sometimes simply accepting. Winter relies on a combination of clever art historical reference and blatant naivety to mesmerize the viewer.

The title of the exhibition, ‘Reflective Realities,’ itself poses more questions than it answers. Winter asks, “How can one begin with a reality that is purely a reflection of itself? Here, reality is presented as the imaginable on the verge of absurdity and fiction.” This conceptual space is the “twilight” in which Winter locates his work. 

Mindy Solomon Gallery is located at 172 NW 24th St., Miami, FL 33127. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00AM-5:00PM. For more information, please contact the gallery at [email protected] or 786-953-6917.

Mindy Solomon