Christopher Mir’s exhibition Endgame invites viewers into enchanting ethereal realms that encourage introspective and meditative passage through richly painted landscapes. In these settings figures are cradled in kaleidoscopic designs that suspend time, space, and narrative, providing testament to a digital age rife with numerous sensorial stimuli. Sourcing material from the physical, spiritual, and technological world around him, Mir amasses hundreds of images from magazines, coffee-table books on national parks, calendars, the Internet, and his own photography. He subsequently organizes and paints these seemingly incongruous elements into pictorial assemblages that create cosmic environments open to infinitely evolving associations.
The pictorial relationships in Mir’s work reveal paradoxes and incongruities as various narratives unfold offering meditations both personally intimate and collectively engaging. Inspired by undergraduate studies in anthropology, Mir has honed a visual language that speaks of the metaphysical through a series of archetypal characters and situations that are revisited throughout his oeuvre. His primary troupe is comprised of seven key figures and elements: the Goddess, the God or Wanderer, the Child, the Spirit Animal, the Corporate/Industrial Menace, Magic, and Nature.
In Vanishing Point (2008-09), several of these constituents converge in a twenty-first century fairytale world steeped in metaphor. The painting is loosely based on a Grimm’s story titled “The Seven Ravens.” Here the young girl in the foreground represents the heroine who rescues her seven brothers from a curse that has transformed them into ravens. The mountain is their prison, and with the aid of a sorceress (the woman in the red dress) the girl restores her brothers to their human form after an arduous adventure. The cellular tower in the distance and the linear forms that cut through the composition bring us into the present and add a sense of industrial encroachment. They also allude to the digital information flowing through the air—a metaphor for the ever-evolving assimilation of imagery within the painting and the technological age at large. Mir’s multiple narrative threads emerge subtly through mysterious compositions that are both spiritually transcendental and outwardly revelatory.
Mir received his MFA from Boston University in 1998 and was one of the first artists selected to participate in the Artists Pension Trust. One of his monumental paintings, Dear Traveler (2004), is in the permanent collection of the Yale University Art Gallery. He made his European solo debut at Galerie Schuster Berlin in 2008 and is the recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant.