Chris Scott is an artist currently living in St. Louis. Born in Springfield, Illinois, Scott received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Iowa. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Visual Art at Washington University in St. Louis.
Scott is ardently invested in questioning and embracing the clichés of artisthood born from and perpetuated by “great” 20th century abstractionists: Pollock, Tuttle, Martin, etc. Through slapstick, he emphasizes the absurdity of the persona of the abstract painter. He has branded this group of gestures sadboyfuck. Sadboyfuck is an adoption of tropes the title of abstract painter is saddled with: artist on the fringes of society, depressed white male painter, the desultory wanderer, mania, addiction, the inaneness of abstraction. The sadboyfuck is conflicted with a genuine love for the language of abstract painting and an apprehension that the hunt for “truth” through abstraction may all be a crock.
The persona is also inclusive of the influence of memes and trashy-rebel-skate-boy culture. The term “sadboy” derives from a pocket of internet culture born in the early 2010s in which memes seem to function as a mode for males to sardonically express vulnerability; a failed attempt at amalgamating emotional sensitivity with an outdated notion of machismo. The “fuck” in sadboyfuck is a signal to the trashy-rebel-skate-boy attitude of the persona. Like any good punk, sadboyfuck attempts to ride the misconception of his aimlessness, laziness and misanthropy, though he is not enough of a nonentity to avoid occasionally falling into these conducts. Sadboyfuck exists equally as a pathetic masquerade and a clumsy display of my actual temperaments.
The paintings, or tablets as he refers to them, rely on an assortment of quotations and appropriations. In the tablets, snippets of text are collected from a stable of sources – music, eavesdropping, bar conversations, poetry – and slapdashedly inscribed on loose-leaf notebook paper before receiving a spunky glaze. Images collaged onto/into the tablets are similarly aloof allusions. Oftentimes Scott is quoting himself or directly inscribing another artist’s work into a tablet. In other instances, small drawings reminiscent of notebook doodles find themselves in the lexicon. The harvesting of these disparate sources is deliberately fortuitous. The proposition is a joke without a punchline: a painter bereft of ideas or motive, illiterate in the sacred tongue of abstraction, a poet pilfering the expressions of others, a cowboy without his steed or gun.