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About Christopher Paul Brown

For me, a strong image offers a vision beyond the surface. It has a multi-dimensionality that offers depth and richness; such images can tell different stories to different people. With my work, these are never linear stories. Rather, they are subterranean and unconscious, like wordless shards that are the remains of dreams upon awakening.

I view myself primarily as an alchemist. The mundane surface of things interests me as fodder, as a means or lever, for revealing the deeper, inner energy of that which holds my emotional interest. Manipulation allows me ready access to the subjects hidden aspects. The act is a partial disrobing; it is a process only the audience may complete.

I am a primitive hunter-gatherer rather than a modern urban agrarian. My process depends on engaging two polar opposites: intent and openness. The result is a channeling of energies beyond myself. I become a conductor of energy, like a wire conducting electricity or a lens conducting light. Mystics, and now even String Theory scientists, describe our world as having eleven dimensions. I feel that I explore some portion of these unnamed dimensions with my art.

In each of my photographs I have used, and deliberately misused, in-camera and/or post-production manipulation. With digital photography I shoot promiscuously and playfully, but with a constancy of intent and openness. I expect surprise and serendipity. Post-production is much the same. At every step of the way I perceive the involvement of energies beyond myself.

Due to a lack of extensive planning and my habit of deliberately keeping my intentions vague, my finished photographs feel more like found artifacts than personally crafted works of art. Part of me is a mere witness to this mysterious process. Like a child who has found baubles at the seashore, I have the urge to share my discoveries.

In my youth I imagined pursuing the arts as a hobby and working as a scientist. I imagined myself exploring frontiers as an exo-geologist, fathoming the structure of planets other than Earth. During my adolescence, however, I discovered the vast frontier of inner space and realized that my path lay in the direction of alchemy, the unconscious and art.


Christopher Paul Brown's photography career dates back to 1978 and he has been active in improvised experimental music and video since 1974. His first photography sale was to the collection of the Standard Oil Company of Indiana (now part of British Petroleum) and his video You Define Single File was nominated for the Golden Gate Award at the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival in 2004. In 2019 his photography will appear in the 7th International Photography Annual Publication of Manifest Gallery, and he was a finalist in Circle Foundation for the Arts’ 2018 Artist of the Year Competition. In 2018 he exhibited at LOOSENART MODULES, Millepiani Exhibition Space, Rome, Italy and was featured in the Click! Billboard Exhibition Writ Large in Raleigh, NC. His work appeared in five other juried exhibitions and he received several awards. In 2017 he was exhibited at Arte Borgo Gallery, Rome, Italy in the finalist exhibition for Art FOMENAR and was awarded the Cash Jury Prize for Art FOMENAR. He also exhibited at the gallery Bartcelona Concept in Belgrade, Serbia and had ten works from his series Obscure Reveal at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum in Florida, USA. He appeared in the magazines Average Art, WOTISART and the British A5 and was Photomanipulation Nominee for the 4th edition of the Fine Art Photography Awards. Brown participated in the Big Picture Street Art Project by the Artwork Network in Denver, CO and numerous other exhibitions in the USA and received several awards. In 2016 he was one of three winners of the 1st Annual Competition for Images on Elevator Doors at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth, MA. He also exhibited at six other competitions that year. Brown earned a BA in Film from Columbia College Chicago in 1980. He was born in Dubuque, Iowa, USA and now resides in Buncombe County, North Carolina.