About Chris Aerfeldt
Making the ordinary extraordinary The paintings I make are born in my subconscious, coming from a semi-hidden place that is mostly beyond words. There are things inside each of us that donâ€™t easily rise to the surface. In my artworks I give visible form to ideas and emotions that donâ€™t normally seem to fit together or make proper sense â€“ they come from the edges of dreams and daydreams. I want to make the ordinary extraordinary. In my work I use many of the same labour intensive techniques and materials that were developed by European old masters in past centuries, but apply them to contemporary images. Friends and acquaintances pose as models and I fabricate objects to use as props in the various scenarios. The backgrounds are added later. My parents are from Estonia but I grew up in the hot, flat suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. There was quite a bit of cultural disconnect between the two worlds, as any child born to migrant parents will know. I always had quite a complex internal life but found very few ways to express it. Drawing and painting were my favourite things and at the age of around eleven I started making little landscapes in oils in my dadâ€™s shed, creating a huge mess and around me. After several false starts to my career, I became miserable enough to realize that all I wanted to do was to paint and that this could be my contribution to society. I was awarded a scholarship to go to Adelaide Central School of Art followed by another scholarship to do a Masters degree at Chelsea College in London. Charles Saatchi turned up at my graduate show and bought my work, as did David Roberts and several other major collectors. By the end of the year everything I had made had been sold. After London, I decided to stay on in Europe so settled in the south of France. I now divide my time between Montpellier and Barcelona, with in-between trips to London. My work is represented by galleries in Europe and Australia.