Artist talk with 
     Christina Allan
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“Blood Moon Reaper”, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

30 x 23 cm

Tell us about yourself.

 

Hey! My name is Christina Allan, I’m a Canadian artist currently based in Toronto. I’m painter, but am also interested in other art forms like installation and sculpture. At 18, I moved to New York City to pursue my dream of becoming an artist, and received my BFA from Parsons The New School for Design in 2017. 

 

 

Where did your passion for art begin?

 

Definitely as a child. I was super shy and would always be off drawing, creating comics, and inventing bizarre characters. I used to sketch on restaurant napkins and airplane paper sick bags (which my family would collect), and illustrate my diary entries. I think it’s always been the most natural way of expressing myself.

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How would you describe your work to someone?

 

My paintings are strange, mythical scenes that take place in a realm that is dreamy yet real. I create imaginative narratives of fantastical creatures, often within atmospheres that have a lurking darkness and sinister energy. They convey complex psychological states and existentialist themes. In short, ambiguous escapism meets existential chaos.

“Ride or Die”, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

101 x 91 cm

What are you currently working on?

 

I’m currently working on a series of paintings of mythical creatures in dream-like and odd natural landscapes.

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“Care Bear”, 2021

Oil & acrylic on canvas

61 x 76 in.

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise? 

I typically start with drawing in my sketchbook, creating characters and scenes that I eventually want to bring to life on the canvas. Sometimes I’ll load a sketch into a digital software and will play around with different ideas to give it an edge. With painting, I always improvise. My process is really a continuous cycle of mark-making and building layers that eventually form a visual outcome that’s interesting to me. I find the magic happens when I let go, embrace error, and allow my body to create instinctively. Although it’s difficult for someone who tends to overthink everything.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

 

My influences are endless. Sometimes I pull from art history, mythology, popular culture, philosophical writings, cartoons, an experience, an emotion - the list goes on. Lately I’ve been interested in the idea of deities and blurring the lines between good vs. evil, which was inspired by the complexity of ancient Greek gods and goddesses. Also art. I gravitate towards the works of Philip Guston, Jean DuBuffet (particularly his early paintings and sculptures), Odilon Redon, and the weirdness of artists like Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and Francis Bacon. Redon’s ‘The Cyclopse’ is an all-time favourite.

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“Alicorn”, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

76 x 91 in

Limbo.jpg

“Limbo”, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

51 x 40 cm

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

 

I’m focused on pursuing residencies opportunities for 2022, producing every day, and growing as an artist. Staying on my grind.