Between large scale sculptures and delicate watercolor illustrations, Chris Bogia’s works reflect his ongoing interests in interior design, decorative art and queer spaces. Within his practice, Bogia employs many strategies and materials more commonly utilized by interior designers. Unbridled by the confines of a client or the constructs of a prescribed space, Bogia’s works refer to the decorative and the contemporary, both physically and psychologically.
Within his watercolors on paper, an ongoing conflict between these two forces is depicted. Framed by a traditional archway, disembodied, exquisite limbs squirm and gesture; defiling the carefully appointed and balanced domestic interiors, which are accented by incense burners, house plants and pottery. Born from these watercolors, Bogia’s sculptures suggest furniture and decor in both scale and surface. Lacquer finishes, walnut veneer, grass cloth wallpaper, and folksy hand-laid yarn mixed with ornamental objects, conjure an abstraction of a specifically urbane kind of domestic interior. The modern comfort and beauty expressed in these works is precarious: the sculptures are precisely designed to be held together by only balance and tension, suggesting that even private personal utopias are fragile and easily disrupted.
Bogia’s newest body of work focuses on the bonsai as a projection of an alternative, calmer reality; one crafted through meticulous exertion and care. With these works, Bogia also seeks to reference the home, and the tension that exists within domestic spaces. Bogia’s bonsai sculptures are treated with surface finishes ranging from lacquer to grass-cloth wallpaper, materials which accentuate the interior quality of the works. They are a veneer of visual delight, distracting us from what chaos surely exists elsewhere. To keep a bonsai is a frenetic balancing act, and a potentially all-encompassing one. Bonsais are meticulously sculpted into idealized versions of natural forms; and in Bogia’s hands, they become metaphors for the body, which can likewise be molded – though, unlike these particular bonsai, never made static.
Bogia received his MFA from Yale University and his BA from New York University, and is the co-founder of Fire Island Artist Residency, the world’s first LGBTQ artist residency.
All artwork courtesy Mrs., Maspeth, NY