In this podcast episode Sergio Gomez speaks to NYC based artist Christybomb about building a personal brand from the ground up.
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B I O G R A P H Y
I am Christy Lee, better known as Christybomb, a visual artist based out of New York City and Charleston, WV. The “Christybomb” moniker was given to me by friends because of the energy and vivaciousness embodied within my art. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in public health. In spite of my research biologist training, I ultimately came to the realization that creating art could be more than a hobby.
This realization occurred when I was living in Japan after the tsunami and earthquake of 2011, with the subsequent reflection and introspection that resulted from this upheaval. I was inspired to create a completely self-taught portfolio of work, which resulted in my acceptance into the prestigious MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where I received my MFA in Fine Arts degree.
One of the more significant accomplishments of my formal education was bringing glitter and other craft materials to academia, and exhibiting them in academic spaces. My art practice has developed in such a way that I now pull from my scientific background, my self-taught art training, as well as from my academic, traditional artist education. I would say that it is the marriage of these aspects of my background and personality that have resulted in my unconventional style.
Since then, I have shown both at major art fairs and in international exhibitions as well as having completed large commissions for public spaces. My work has been acquired by major private collections and a foreign museum. More recently, I have also ventured into Design, where I have worldwide exclusive licensing representation. I continue to exhibit my work regularly at a variety of venues and locations.
A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
My artistic creations draw inspiration from the happiness, innocence and youthful fantasies of my childhood, like Candyland, Hello Kitty and Willy Wonka. At the same time, my work is also influenced by over-the-top trends and looks of avant-garde fashion, cosplay and drag queens.
In reaction to the monotony and shortcomings of conventional painting, an important aspect of my work involves incorporating unconventional materials such as string, rope, yarn, wire, pipe cleaners, plastic straws and Swarovski crystals. I then further embellish all of that with flashes and accents of glitter, pom-poms, googly eyes, beads, sequins, broken glass and metal spikes, among other ingredients.
The idea of making something out of nothing—with ingredients that are largely frivolous or even throwaway in nature—fascinates me no-end and influences my work. My purpose in all this is to create circus-like mosaics that are textural, colorful, bright and bold—electric kaleidoscopes of layers, colors and materials—radiating heat, excitement and vitality.
Thanks to the rigorous discipline of my scientific background and training, I additionally pay extreme attention to detail, order and overall impact and effect. I see my purpose as an artist to be a creator of wild and rollicking visual playgrounds, reactions to the mundanities of life, for our viewing enjoyment, exploration and adventure. I continue to experiment day and night with whatever new materials I can fit into my studio. Stay tuned for my next exciting episode!
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