“Christopher Volpe’s paintings are stark conduits of the inherent oppositions between human beings and the natural world.” –Art New England
Originally from Long Island, Christopher Volpe is an artist, writer, and teacher working and living in New Hampshire. His paintings in tar and gold leaf reference mortality, mysticism, and concern for the fate of a world buying and spending its way toward uninhabitability. His work is collected internationally and held in the permanent collections of Smith College and the Whistler House Museum. Grants and awards include the Saint Botolph Club Foundation, MassMoCA/Assets for Artists, and the NH State Council on the Arts Artist Advancement Grant. With degrees from the University of New Hampshire and Stony Brook University, he has taught painting, literature, mythology, and the history of art at various colleges and universities. He writes regularly about art and artists online and off.
Art is just an attempt to create meaning, both in your own individual life and in the lives of the people you connect with. What keeps me coming back to the easel is a perpetual unrest and an urge to be part of collective search for meaning and satisfaction. It’s the same impulse I had as a teacher of literature – an attempt to make some sense of what’s going on and figure out what’s important before we die.
The paintings I love and aspire to create turn the pain and confusion of being human into a kind of beauty that doesn’t deny the darkness or sugarcoat reality yet insists on a lyrical engagement, not just with the world around us, but with the deeper mysteries of the human heart.
Access a selection of my scholarly essays, poetry, art writing, and exhibition reviews here.