Mancunian musician and artist, Chris Rivers, has brought his twin passions together in spectacular artwork that has taken The Killing Tree by storm.
Music to Art
Once a drummer with Heaven’s Basement, a UK rock band, Rivers focused on music for over a decade, and had no idea about his artistic leanings. It wasn’t until 2013 when he was on a 4-month- long tour around the United States that he first made a sketch on a used drumhead using Sharpies after a show. He enjoyed the experience so much that he continued to create art throughout the tour, and more inspiring ideas began to flood his mind.
Although he still sees himself as a drummer, Rivers is starting to view himself as more of an artist – a change which he still finds surprising considering that just a few years ago he was definitely seen as “a band guy”. However, in just the same way as he once expressed himself through his music, today, he has taken that self-expression in a different direction, through his paintings.
In much the same way as a song tells a story, he tells a tale through his artwork, and while he’s uncomfortable with the idea of explaining his paintings, his work centres around the themes of innocence paired with sinister elements for a dramatic contrast.
Today, he harnesses that musical background to create artwork on used drumheads and broken cymbals as well as on traditional canvases, using mainly oils to generate classical-style techniques with a dark contemporary twist.
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Alternative Artwork – The Creative Process
By 2016, Rivers had moved away from the music industry and had committed all his energy full-time to his artwork. Without any formal training, he creates his pieces through a process of trial and error, bringing the same mentality that he had while playing drums into play in his painting.
For Rivers, much of the excitement in his creative process is not having a predetermined direction or plan. He prefers to simply take paint to canvas to see where the journey takes him. He doesn’t describe his work as being in any particular style, taking in elements of symbolism, figurative art, surrealism and abstract throughout the scope of his work. He admits that once he stopped searching for a definitive style, everything finally fell into place.
He cites the lesson that he has learned throughout his musical and artistic career is to do your own thing, and never to try to fit into a particular scene. It is only through experimentation that he can get out of his comfort zone, explore new places and push beyond his boundaries.
Asked now to describe his own pieces, he uses the term “alternative artwork” – perfectly in keeping with the alternative principles of The Killing Tree!
Chris Rivers began working with The Killing Tree around a year ago, discussing concepts and ideas for pieces online with Karl Sandor, the founder of The Killing Tree. Many of his new works are now being released by The Killing Tree, including his Land of the Giants and Savages of Eden series which focus on large abstract scenes with intricate details on closer inspection that show that everything is not always as it seems.
He is delighted to be working so closely with The Killing Tree, and is proud of his association with the leading independent art and fashion brand, and of being part of the timeless nature of art and art as fashion that has been an ongoing element throughout human history. He intends to keep on taking risks and putting everything into his work, reaching out to others through the Exposing Art series.
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