At the age of forty, after a career as a professional musician, I began painting again. I knew what I wanted to paint, and my early years of studying art at the Kansas City Art Institute and working as a studio assistant instilled in me an understanding of handling professional art materials.
In the spring of 1999, I composed and recorded a musical score for an animated film entitled Africa. My research for this project led me to the idea of rhythmic-inspired textiles. I relate to the interplay of geometry, symmetry, and musical rhythm and the impact these forces can have upon a physical surface. My use of these visual design ideas is colored by my experience as a musician and drummer. The concept of “cool” refers to an ancient African, and perhaps human, mode of being. To be “cool,” one must develop skills as a player that go beyond simple, heated self-expression. To me this concept of “cool” informs my ongoing involvement with expressionism and formalism.
Beauty is also of enormous interest to me. I am drawn to enhancing and communicating a pleasurable perception of our existence, though I believe that nothing is sacred and nothing is too prosaic. The rectangle on the wall is an old traditional, formal device and it still works: it is television, movies, photographs, and painting. I am part of this tradition.
about the artist
Don Christensen was born in Nebraska. He majored in art at the University of Nebraska and went on to study at the Kansas City Art Institute. Soon after, he began his musical career as a drummer.
Christensen started painting in 1990 and from 1992 to the present, he has exhibited widely. His work has appeared in group and solo shows at ILLE Arts, Amagansett, NY; Parish Art Museum, Southampton, NY; The Fireplace Project, Springs, NY; Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY; Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Bruno Marina Gallery, Brooklyn NY; Douglas Drake Gallery, New York, NY; McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY; Spanierman Contemporary, New York, NY; Catherine Moore Fine Arts, New York, NY; and the Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, CA, among others.