Beresford Studios is proud to present Paul Cristina: We Were Never Told the Truth About the Dying of the Sun, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings on paper and canvas. The exhibition at Beresford marks Cristina’s first major solo exhibition in downtown Charleston. The new work displays Cristina’s continual interest towards the fragmentation and manipulation of his drawings, while finding a proper balance between the figurative and abstract elements of his compositions. When developing work for this exhibition, Cristina decided to work exclusively with large and small scale charcoal drawings rendered on various sources of paper, which were then subjected to an extensive process of deconstruction and reconstruction of the drawn images.
In this recent body of work, Cristina was influenced by the idea of how we are often indoctrinated in various ways throughout our childhood, adolescence and into our adult life. Some methods of indoctrination are more obvious and have become normalized or trivialized within daily routine, while others remain rather harmful and discreet. He asked himself how these methods of indoctrination in the early stages of our lives can ultimately shape, dictate and potentially limit or confine our perception towards the world while at an age when we are simply too young to think critically for ourselves.
As we continue into adulthood, we work subconsciously and instinctively to maintain a more comfortable existence that allows us to avoid certain truths. We protect and shelter ourselves in this way for fear of possibly unraveling a superficial identity and facade about who we are. We often distract ourselves from the truths that can be unpleasant or challenging to our basic ideas of self. How much are we lying to ourselves? How much do we allow ourselves to be lied to by others? As a result of this thinking, Cristina’s primary concern became this idea that being restricted from reality in these various ways can eventually prove to be an enormous detriment to our very own emotional and intellectual development as we continue to age.