international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Christina Empedocles
San Francisco, California

detail image


My work is a process of remembering the act of remembering, imperfectly and incompletely. It's about
seeing most of the picture, but not all of it; using realism to obsess over details while large areas are covered or obscured. I strive to compile a personal history signified by the ephemera of everyday life, pop culture, and a nostalgia for nature. It is, at best, a fragmented record, a pseudo science, and an impossible experiment.

I am interested in the intersection of art with the scientific process, and I marvel at the tasks which science asks art to complete. A paleontologist may request that an illustrator draw the tail of a fossilized fish embedded in sandstone, which can only be seen through a microscope. It could take weeks, months to complete, and why? Because in this role, the artist can record more detail than a camera. To me it is unimaginable that the hand and the eye could reach beyond the shutter. But in my work I look for ways that I can slow things down, moving point by point, using drawing to create a document through painstaking labor, which can be produced in no other way. And I have found that through the process of patient observation one can gain a profound understanding. My goal is always to look deeper, see more, and record as faithfully as possible.

And what that has translated to is something obsessive. It takes me such a long time to finish each piece that at some point it goes from being a drawing to an act of endurance. I've been gradually working larger, investing more time, to see how far I can take it.

The project I've been working on over the last few years involves creating a picture of a picture, many of which are nature scenes, or reference the natural world. I let you know that I am not sitting outside with my easel directly observing, by showing the edges and mangled surface of the reference. It's a way that I can describe my distance from nature, while also demonstrating my love for it.  I have no idea how the feathers of a bird feel, but I have stared at pictures of a birds for hundreds of hours.





born: 1973, Ann Arbor, Michigan


California College of the Arts, MFA, 2008
Oberlin College, BA, 1995

selected publications

New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition in Print, Issue 103, 2012
New American Paintings, Juried Exhibition in Print, Issue 91, 2010
American Art Collector Magazine, Upcoming Show: Bird watching, Issue 60, 2010
Studio Visit Magazine, National Juried Exhibition in Print, Issue 5, 2009

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Two Pencils, two Person Exhibition with Kevin Chen, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, California, 2013
Exactitude, two person exhibition with Pamela Valfer, Burnet Gallery, Le Meridien Chamers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2012
A Unified Theory of Everything, solo exhibition, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, Colorado, 2012
As Evidenced, solo exhibition, David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, Colorado, 2010

selected group shows

Common Objects, three person exhibition with Robert Townsend and Dave Lefner, SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, California, 2013
California Girls, three person exhibition with Jennifer Celio and Alika Cooper,  Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, New York, 2011
Joni Mitchell, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, New York, 2011
Habitat, Foothills Art Center, Golden, Colorado, 2011

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