Colors have their own rhythms, unique energy signatures that like notes gain depth and nuance through juxtaposition and sequence. In a painting, colors work to create and define space, optical movement and emotional narratives. Painter Christopher “Flore” Florentino understands the symphonic power of colors at a foundational level, and for the past several years his Urban Cubist works have deployed complex chromatic equations and witty texts to create unique, jaunty, bustling, architectural canvases. (Art Angels in Los Angeles just showed various juxtapositions of Urban Cubist and Modernist paintings, and this summer Florentino will have a solo show, ‘Numbers and Colors,’ in South Hampton, New York at Chase Edwards Gallery, opening July 4th.) But increasingly, it’s been his Moderns series that has explored a mature, poetic, and even classically art-historical relationship with the powers of color – a series that sets not only the eye, but the mind and the heart, in constant motion.
“Sunday Flowers”; 2020. Photo via Art Angels.
In these affecting abstractions, an animated gestural quality has a directness whose simplicity gives way to complex, nuanced depths. In many important ways, this series offers traditional (or at least traditionally understood) AbEx paintings. But in Flore’s expressionism, every brushstroke and color are intentionally synced, with a purposeful transcendence of raw energy in the service of a more specific construction. For example, reds signify power and thus are rendered hard and fast with a heavy brush; blue is more whimsical and is deployed in a smoother inflected flow. Flore’s facture is rooted in the integrity of chromatic energies and their balance, feeling that the energy of each color deserves its own way of being.
One of Flore’s “Urban Cubist” works on the easel in the “studio” area of his Miami loft. Photo by Megan McLuer.
The artist was formally trained in art school and took a special interest in color theory and the optical dynamics of how color moves the eye and creates the effect of space within the surface, the sense of forward and retreating motion. As part of his evolution as an artist, he’s put in countless hours in the studio, pursuing a maturing technique and a fresh path to self-expression. “The Urbans are who I am, a hip-hop street kid born in Brooklyn,” he reflects, “but Modern is my taste. My heroes are Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell… I’m an art nerd, what can I say?”
About Earth Angels | Both Jacquelin Napals and Kat Emery were expectant mothers when they founded Art Angels in 2013. It’s appropriate, then, that they’ve also given life to an extraordinary organization, which reflects their signature mix of aspiration and approachability – and now includes flagship galleries in LA and Miami, curations for luxe restaurants and hotels, and happy clients around the world. See the work on Instagram @art_angels or at artangels.net.