My personal studio practice has been focused on the creation of figurative sculptures carved from reclaimed lumber using a variety of traditional tools and techniques. Over the course of several years I developed a personal style that uses lessons from folk art traditions ranging from Appalachia to Japan. I utilize this aesthetic to carve sculptures that depict contemporary themes in art and culture.         

My animal and human imagery bring into question our relationships with animals. Some of which are exploited others are protected. Many times that relationship can shift dramatically.   All the animals I carve come from a personal connection or experience. The stylizations I use are intended to emphasize the spiritual or intellectual longings of humans.  This can be seen in the elongation of limbs or the extending of necks meant to show a yearning to extend beyond ourselves.

My spiritual and emotional connection with my art can be extended beyond imagery and subject matter, to the very material that I use.  Most of my work is carved reclaimed materials.  The sense of history that this material brings before my hands is much greater than anything I could hope to achieve through artificial means. In the studio carving my figures is much less about me forcing my vision on the material as it is a dialogue with the material itself.  Elements such as nail holes, checking, and insect burrowing go into forming what I am sculpting and are an integral part of my creative process. 

Christopher B Wagner
March 2020