Christopher Felver

Christopher Felver is a photographer and filmmaker. His work has been exhibited internationally—with solo photographic exhibitions—at the Arco d’ Alibert, Rome (1987); the Art Institute for the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas (1987); Torino Fotografia Biennale Internazionale, Italy (1989); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994); Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, Netherlands (1998); Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles (2002); the Maine Photographic Workshop (2002); Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles (2007); and other galleries and museums. His works have also appeared in major group exhibitions, including The Beats: Legacy & Celebration, New York University (1994) and Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac On The Road, New York Public Library (2007).

He participated in the 53rd Venice International Film Festival, and screened films in festivals and museums around the globe, including presentations at the Library of Congress (2006), the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles (2006), Lincoln Center, New York (2005), the Mill Valley Film Festival (1996, 2002), Santa Fe Film Festival (2001, 2005), Northwest West Film Festival, Portland Art Museum (2001), Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis (2000), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2000), KQED San Francisco (1984, 1999), and WGBH Boston (1984).

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., New York Public Library, and the Museum of Fine Art in Boston have presented retrospectives of his films: Cecil Taylor: All the Notes (2005), Donald Judd’s Marfa Texas (1998), The Coney Island of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1996), Tony Cragg: In Celebration of Sculpture (1993), John Cage Talks About Cows (1991), Taken by the Romans (1990), West Coast: “Beat & Beyond” (1984), and California Clay in the Rockies (1983).

Christopher Felver’s books are Beat (Last Gasp, 2007) an intimate memoir of image, text, and reminiscence; The Late Great Allen Ginsberg (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002); The Importance of Being (Arena Editions, 2001), 400 portraits of eminent figures in American arts, letters, music, and politics; Ferlinghetti Portrait (Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1998); Angels, Anarchists & Gods (Louisiana State University Press, 1996), featuring the American avant-garde; The Poet Exposed (Alfred Van der Marck Editions, 1986), a monograph of contemporary American poets; and Seven Days in Nicaragua Libre (City Lights Books, 1984), co-authored with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, based on a week together in Nicaragua with Minister of Culture Ernesto Cardenal.

His work is collected by numerous libraries and museums, including Stanford University Special Collections; Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley; The New York Public Library; Donnell Media Center; San Francisco Public Library; University of California Santa Cruz, Special Collections; University of Buffalo, Poetry/ Rare Books Collection; University of North Carolina Special Collections; San Diego State University; University of Delaware Special Collections; UCLA Special Collections; and University of New Mexico Special Collections, among others.
Christopher Felver appears as a guest lecturer at universities and art centers. His photographs are represented and distributed worldwide by Corbis. In 1997, he received the Best Art Documentary Awards at the Cinema Arts Centre International Independent Film Festival, Huntington, New York. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Felver was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.


Aleatroric Circular Forms: A Trilogy of Circles by Will Alexander

In his latest presentation at the Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, the iconic filmmaker/photographer, Chris Felver, has ignited the eye, with what I’ll call aleatoric circular forms. Influenced by the artistic presence of Donald Judd, the grouped circular forms contain photography culled from disparate psycho/physical locales that include Prague, Paris, and Berlin. The trilogy of circles are uniform in size its images structured by a Donald Judd like architectural squares. The circles are inhabited by 150 images that fill and thereby sustain the totality of the circles. When viewed while in motion via a side-long glance they flood the retina as black and white blurs, and cast an aleatoric mist that seems to spontaneously rotate as an odd concussive whirling. Again,  they spin as  sidelong blurs giving the impression of a hybrid form of cinema. In this sense they are a continuum of Felver’s quest to expand the portrait as an alchemical image of consciousness.

When Felver proto-chrystalizes Judd he opens for us a mirror where analysis seems moved by susurrant enrichment. And this enrichment invigorates what I’ll call an interior mathematics whose equations are not unequal to  Judd’s autonomous exploration, an exploration that in Felver’s case, symbolizes living nutation that evinces a spell of interior riches. But unlike Judd, instead of an an autonomous sculpting that irradiates from stationary space, Felver’s circles imply a simultaneity over and beyond the seeming stasis which accrues from a static singularity that registers, say, as transposed office space.

There exists in this present evaluation  the dominant nexus of the side-long view as density via movement, not in terms of measurable extrinsics, but as movement more akin to occulted cellular respiration as expression. Because such respiration never impedes its own synergy one begins to experience through one’s optical state, a living field  that quietly engages the viewer with what I’ll call neural irrigation. When life happens at this deeper state it is many times unsuspected by a less discerning consciousness. Let us take for example, the manner in which trees grow and expand, or to extend this to  cosmic reference, I feel compelled to compare Felver’s occulted motion to that of Uranus or the outer figments of our solar family, namely Pluto, Eris, or perhaps the dwarf planet Sedna, the latter evincing  a single rotation synchronous with the span of 11 thousand years as it rounds the Sun. It is this latter example of movement that is akin to Felver’s nutation which typically fails to garner basic acknowledgment when exposed to the commercially vetted eye. It is to Felver’s credit that his circular conundrums elicit comparison with the farthest known elements of our local solar family, while at the same time creating an arresting presence in an environment seemingly dominated by the whims of those who remain as distracted passers-by.

American Juke Box - SFGATE
American Juke Box - Publishers Weekly
Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder by Christopher Felver
Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder by Christopher Felver
Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder by Christopher Felver