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Entries in Chris Woods (7)


Amazing gifts from artist Chris Woods

You may remember last year's terrific Sandstorm art exhibit by Chris Woods. Chris funded the exhibit in part through Indiegogo and has spent a huge amount of time and effort since then producing drawings and prints for those who contributed. 

Chris was also kind enough to prepare something for me. I wasn't expecting anything, and I certainly wasn't expecting THREE fabulous pieces. These came in the mail a couple weeks ago. 

Untitled, by Chris WoodsHeroes in Danger, by Chris WoodsVillain, by Chris Woods

"Villain" is my wife's favourite. In fact she just asked me what I planned to do with it, in a way that made clear that it wasn't leaving the house! Fine by me. I especially like the moodiness of "Heroes in Danger".

I can't thank Chris enough for his immense generosity. But I can at least tell you that Chris's Sandstorn exhibit is showing again this summer at Gallery Jones in Vancouver from 12 July to 3 August. I understand these amazing works are for sale. Contact Chris on Twitter (@chriswoodsart) for more information.

Gallery Jones: Sandstorm by Chris Woods


A Long Time Ago & Sandstorm on

Last Thursday artist Chris Woods and I spoke about Star Wars at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Reach is where Chris's terrific Sandstorm oil painting exhibition is on show. Chris treated us to a slideshow presentation about how he conceived of the exhibition, while I read two excerpts from A Long Time Ago.

Much to my surprise, contributor Adam Lamping (@adamlamping) was in attendance. After the talk, Adam and I had a great chat (with Chris Hamilton and others). Adam then posted a piece about the event on From the post:

The evening consisted of Woods offering insight into his history with Star Wars as well as explaining the theme of the exhibition, bookended by van Ert reading some highly amusing excerpts from his book. The first excerpt described his increasing obsession with Star Wars, and in particular Kenner action figures, as a child, and then following Woods' talk, van Ert detailed his reaction to seeing The Vintage Collection for the first time, and the internal struggles that ensued as he attempted to resist the urge to fall back into a hobby that he had seemingly put behind him many years before.

Adam then kindly directs readers to my book on Amazon and this great Flickr set from Sandstorm. Thanks, Adam! Growing Up With Star Wars


Talking Star Wars at The Reach

Next Thursday, 8 August, at 7 pm, artist Chris Woods and I will be at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC to talk about--you guessed it--Star Wars.

Chris is the artist behind Sandstorm, a spectacular exhibit of original-trilogy-themed paintings showing at the gallery until 8 September. The show has been a big hit for the gallery so far, and it's not even half way through its run. You can watch my handmade (hamfisted?) film about Sandstorm here.

I'll do a couple readings from A Long Time Ago, while Chris will give a presentation about his paintings--which will be right there in the gallery for you to go see. Audience participation will be encouraged. To steal a nice phrase from a guy I met once, it will be "Nerd Church".

Amazingly, the whole thing is free, so if you're anywhere near Abbotsford (about an hour's drive from Vancouver), you really should come out.

The Reach: Events & Programs | Location


Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens [with video]

The artist as George Lucas--a good likeness, apart from the hairLast night I attended the oepning of artist Chris Woods' new exhibit, "Sandstorm", at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC. It was a terrific night full of intriguing art and stimulating conversation. The Reach describes Chris's exhibit this way:

In his first solo museum exhibition, Chris Woods' Sandstorm is a collection of 14 epic-scale paintings that will tackle the most important movies in the history of pop-culture:the original Star Wars Trilogy.

These paintings will ask the question: What if we saw the events of Star Wars through the eyes of its main antagonist, Darth Vader?

Sandstorm will take stylistic inspiration from the 19th century French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix and will be based on scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy. These oil paintings on canvas will look, darkly, through Vader’s artificial eyes at the heroes, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.

To Vader, these heroes must have appeared in his nightmares as shadowy figures that had but one mission: see Vader dead and everything he built destroyed.

Chris's previous works have been marked by hyperrealism and an ironic, if not overtly critical, stance toward consumerism and popular culture. (See, for example, Royal Treats, Chris's take on fast food culture.) While the Star Wars phenomenon is certainly ripe for the latter treatment, Chris has eschewed both irony and hyperrealism in this current exhibit. He explained to me that he was impatient with disingenuous art, and that his fondness for Star Wars was too sincere to approach it in a critical way, even if doing so might have garnered more attention to himself. 

Sandstorm runs at The Reach until 8 September 2013. 

The Reach: Current Exhibitions

Chris Woods Artist


Portrait of the artist as George Lucas

Chris Woods' ambitious and complex Sandstorm project becomes more interesting with this latest addition: a self-portrait of the artist as George Lucas. Watch the video, then go help fund the project on Indiegogo!

Indiegogo: Sandstorm: One Fan's Elegy to the Original STAR WARS Trilogy


Chris Woods featured in newspaper piece on Sandstorm

The Chilliwack Times has a great piece on artist Chris Woods' upcoming Sandstorm project. Sandstorm is a solo art show Woods is now preparing for display in summer 2013. It will feature 14 epic-scale oil paintings of Star Wars topics. From the article:

Chris Woods opens a large resealable bag in his downtown Chilliwack studio and pulls out a yellowing, child's exercise book.

It's not an antique nor a grandfather's journal; it's not even that old. One line on the cover says "Chris" and below that, "ART!!!!!"

So why is an accomplished artist--with major magazine covers to his name, 18 solo exhibitions across North America and praise from the likes of pop culturist Douglas Coupland--showing off drawings he did as a seven-year-old? Two words: Star Wars.

Thirty-five years ago Woods was doodling X-wing and TIE fighters in his grade-school art book like the rest of us.

Today, he's back at it with his latest project tackling the iconic science fiction films from a unique angle.

For most males in their early 40s, the films in George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy of 1977, 1980 and 1983 constitute mythic cinema.

These aren't just science fiction films. Star Wars, the Emprire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi became epic tales that integrated fantasy with the fabric of childhoods across North America.

"By re-examining films that played a major role in the formative years of my generation I hope to examine what my childhoood eyes may have missed," Woods says.

See my previous blog post for more information about Sandstorm, including how you can support the project on Indiegogo and get drawings and paintings from the exhibit.

Chilliwack Times: Art wars: What were Chris Woods's childhood eyes missing when they were watching iconic film series?

Indiegogo: Sandstorm


Oil painter plans epic Star Wars exhibit 

Vancouver-area artist Chris Woods (@ChrisWoodsArt) has been invited to mount a solo show in the summer of 2013 at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, BC (just outside Vancouver). The show will feature fourteen epic-scale oil-paintings on canvas looking at the original Star Wars trilogy through the eyes of Darth Vader:

The series I plan to show at The Reach will take an unusual look at a phenomenon that rests at the very foundation of modern popular culture: the original Star Wars Trilogy. By reexamining films that played a major role in the formative years of my generation I hope to examine what our childhood eyes may have missed.

The central idea of this new series, to be titled SANDSTORM, will be to look at the events of Star Wars from the perspective of the trilogy’s primary antagonist, Darth Vader. Even though we see Vader as a two-dimensional monster, his mask actually disguises a highly nuanced, and very human character. By flipping the narrative of the Star Wars Trilogy I intend to look beyond Hollywood’s ‘good-guy/bad-guy’ adventure-movie clichés.

Darth Vader’s journey to the dark side serves as a meditation on the nature of evil in the modern age. It also serves as entry point into understanding the mysterious forces that can slowly erode and distort the better human qualities we all share as individuals. Vader’s life followed a tragic arc that has many parallels in history and the history of painting.

These themes will be tackled in SANDSTORM through fourteen epic-scale oil-paintings on canvas inspired by 19th century French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix. Delacroix was obsessed with painting scenes from epics by Dante, Virgil and Shakespeare. I see the Star Wars Trilogy as the most popular myth of our time, just as Delacroix saw The Divine ComedyThe Aeneid and Hamletas the popular myths of his time.

Woods is looking to raise $14,000 through Indiegogo to mount his exhibit. In return for support, he is offering a large number of interesting perks, from prints and drawings to actual paintings. Learn more about the project by watching Woods' Indiegogo video:

This looks like a very interesting project. The themes Woods is tackling are reminiscent of those I address in A Long Time Ago, although tackled from a totally different perspective and in a visual medium. The exhibit's near home for me, so I'll definitely be going next year.

Follow the link to Indiegogo to support Woods' project, or visit his Facebook page to learn more.

Indiegogo: Star Wars Inspired Museum Exhibition 'Sandstorm' by Chris Woods

Facebook: Chris Woods Artist