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About Christopher Paul Brown

Making art puts me into a special state where synchronicity and serendipity become commonplace. It is as if I slip between the cracks of the ordinary world and enter an alternate dimension. The process presents itself less as one of creation than as one of discovery. At its heart is a mystery that cannot be conveyed by words. That mystery is what compels me to return again and again to making art.

I become the space where extraordinary energies flow, and when it is over a work of art sits in front of me. String theory suggests that we inhabit eleven dimensions. It seems to me that art is birthed from dimensions beyond the familiar three. The unconscious may well be one such dimension.

The camera captures the surface of things when used in an ordinary manner. With my work I seek to capture something hidden below the surface. Like an alchemist I pursue a hidden aspect within my subject and struggle to bring it to light. When I succeed the final artifact is like the wordless shard of a nearly forgotten dream.


Brown bought a Contax 35mm camera in 1977 with student loan proceeds and began shooting with black and white film. Early successes included numerous shows, purchases by the Standard Oil Company, and a one-man show in 1985. Contemporaneous with his photography he produced and played in two avant-garde music groups and created numerous experimental videos. He realized videos from 2002 to 2007 that were screened twice at the SXSW Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center and numerous other festivals. His video You Define Single File was nominated for the Golden Gate Award at the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival.

In 1998 he purchased a Mamiya medium format camera and began shooting with color film and creating large 44' prints. Beginning in the Fall of 2013 he adopted digital cameras in earnest. He now uses a Canon EOS 5DS for the bulk of his work.