J. Christopher Whiteis a truly unique combination of sculptor and poet. Through his hands, the aged and weathered woods message of each wood carving are then amplified and refined by a poem. While the messages are drawn from scripture and his faith, the subjects that this Christian artist uses are as variable as nature. His studies in Wildlife Biology at Texas Tech University (Lubbock, Texas) and five years of studying human anatomy at the National Institute of Fine Arts (San Miguel de Allende, Guanajato) in Mexico are both evidenced in his portfolio of birds, fish, mammals and moving depiction’s of men, women and children. White’s signature style of realism flowing into stylized forms and ultimately abstract bands of fluid twist and spins, has continually won him top honors at national and international competitions, Including Best of Show at the International Woodcarver’s Congress in 1994.
If one word could be used to sum up the style of J. Christopher White’s sculptures it would be movement. While wood sculpture has traditionally been cast as static, stiff or massive, White’s use of S-curves, negative spaces, and fluid lines into shimmering ribbons of wood, has broken the mold stepping out of the cast and into the halls of fine art. Each piece requires the welcome challenge of obtaining the wood. Often weeks of hunting the canyon ledges for just the right shape is involved. Cutting and removing these aged relics usually requires rappelling or dangerous descents and ascents, and always a lot of hard work and prayer. The process, from fallen tree to finished sculpture, is chronicled on film to allow the viewer a greater appreciation of the overall piece. Even in selecting the wood, great attention is given to movement. Every line and plane has a function in the design and draws the eye around, through or ultimately to the focal point of the sculpture. Some forms and lines provide environment for the subject, others give illusions of speed, grace or movement. While easily recognized for his glass like finish and painstaking selection of only the most beautiful woods, it is White’s masterful use of the grain patterns in the wood and the inherent shapes of the tree that sets his work apart and augments his memorable designs