2016 will be a year of newness, surprises and change for Artspace. This February, we’re celebrating the arrival of Christopher O’Flaherty to our staff! Chris will replace Shelli Stevens as our new Gallery Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. Friends of Artspace may already know Chris through his involvement in City-Wide Open Studios, Artspace’s Annual Gala, his inclusion in the current Artspace show By and By…at home with Sam and Livy, and his moody woodcut prints in our rotating Flatfile Collection. Having just moved to New Haven from Brooklyn, where he apprenticed at Baobab Frame Shop, Chris met with Artspace Curator, Sarah Fritchey, to discuss his life story, personal interests, and ambitions for the future.
Sarah: So where are you from?
Chris: Originally Lowell Massachusetts, but I have been living in Connecticut for ten years.
S: How did you end up in New Haven?
C: Moved back for my boyfriend
S: What’s your favorite local spot to hang out?
C: I’m too new for that, I haven’t found a place yet.
S: What about a favorite place to eat?
C: 116 Crown.
S: Do you have a home cooked meal that is closest to your heart?
C: 口水鸡, mouth watering chicken (My boyfriend makes it)
S: Yummy. When did you know you were an artist?
C: I used to draw all the time, and me and my brother went into business making comic books at the age of 7, then when that failed, we tried again making videogames, and I would make all the art for them. It wasn’t until after all these projects failed that I took art seriously. Before then I just thought I would be a scientist like my dad.
S: Sounds like you were a precocious and enterprising little kid! What was your first memory?
C: Being with my dad at a park along Merrimack River
S: Did you have any childhood nicknames?
C: Kevin (my twin brother). People usually get us confused so I still answer to both Kevin and Chris.
S: So can I call you Kevin?
C: Haha, no! That’s my pet peeve.
S: Gotcha, let’s switch topics. If you could have dinner with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
C: Egon Schiele. I’m fascinated by the 1880 to 1920 time period. The artists working during this time responded to the position of man and the rise of the machine amidst the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars. And who knows…It would be great to get a portrait done after dinner.
S: Indeed! If you could travel anywhere in the world to make art for 3 weeks, where would it be?
C: Making woodcuts in Japan, but I would hope it would be longer.
S: Ohh, that would be lovely. What city do you think is supporting the most interesting art production right now?
S: Berlin never sleeps! Are you a morning person or night owl?
C: Night owl.
S: I know this from our first week together, but for our readers, coffee or tea?
S: Gym or no gym?
C: No gym, but that might change soon.
S: Analog or digital?
C: Digital, but lets not forget Handmade.
S: If you could have a super power what would it be?
C: To be able to use the force, from Star Wars.
S: What’s your power animal?
C: Bear, though fox is my favorite.
S: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
C: Making art! I gotta keep it coming.
S: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
C: …I’m just trying to get through 2016.
S: Okay, okay, 50 years? Sorry, I can’t help myself.
C: Hopefully still around.
S: How many fingers am I holding up? (*this question asked over email).