“A majestic spirit of adventure looms over my work. I am a “would-be adventurer” that is, I would be if not for the daring and physical exertion required. Instead, I am a top-notch enthusiast. My treatment of history, adventure and exploration has more empathetic humor and awe rather than drama or conquest. In any particular painting one might find wolfmen, archeologists, ghosts, explorers, or cowboys commingling in a primal wood, a medieval cathedral, at sea, or on stage. The worlds they inhabit are hardly naturalistic settings. They are more like overzealous backdrops for an unknown Puccini opera. Through force of will these men, my surrogates humbly cultivate their painted landscape and labor to form the essential relationships of their illusory world –we are working together.
Giving flesh to fantasy is what drives my creative process. I am an advocate for the possibility of complex visual narrative in contemporary art, striving for vitality and believability in each painting no matter how improbable the narrative. As the great Orson Wells said: To work, a story doesn’t have to be real - it has to be true.” Christopher Ulivo (1977, New York/USA)