New York-Based Artist, Christian Mitchell, Debuts “Mental Illusions”, a collection of photography. November 18 to 23 in Lower East Side

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NYC-based artist Christian Mitchell will present his second series of photographs at 345 Broome Street, NYC from Nov. 18 to 23. His collection of photographs printed on metal was inspired by childhood imagination and fairy tales seen through a distorted lens.

"I am a gay artist, but i don't consider my art to be political. I do enjoy playing with gender-bending themes… The process of creativity is a relaxing experience ..."

NYC-based artist Christian Mitchell will present “Mental Illusions”, his second solo show of photographs and installation pieces at 345 Broome Street, New York, NY from November 18th -23rd, 2015. Since his last show at The Hole Gallery four years ago, he has created a body of work that continues to explore the theme of transformation and self-discovery. “I am a gay artist, but I don’t consider my art to be political. I do enjoy playing with gender-bending themes and have a natural instinct to challenge typically masculine/feminine roles and appearances.”Christian’s new work draws from memories of childhood creativity and imagination. The images have a dreamlike quality with subject matter inspired by fairy tales seen through a distorted lens. While not the primary theme, some images do have a homo-erotic undertone in a very fantastic way. This collection includes self-portraits and expands on the idea by using multi-exposure images to capture various manifestations of himself in one image, creating haunting and romantic images. He also features his niece, nicknamed Baby-cakes, in many of the photos. “She’s an old soul and continues to inspire me with her creativity and free spirit,” says Christian. The photographs are printed on metal to further create a dreamy and mysterious quality.

Christian is inspired by dreams, childhood, carnivals and transformation. “It’s sometimes strange to me that people look at my work and see something sad. For me, the characters are beautiful because they are pensive and retrospective. I relate to most characters that I create, although some are created simply out of humor.”

Christian continues to be a “one-man show”, executing the makeup, wigs, photographs, sets, and sewing his own costumes. “The process of creativity is a relaxing experience and by working alone, I’m not held to any timeframe and can experiment without judgment or expectation.” He is inspired by many artists that he has met through the years: Topolino, Kembra Pfahler, Lydia Lunch, Leigh Bowery, Joey Arias, Patricia Field, Susanne Bartsch, and so many more.

“Halloween was the one time each year I was allowed to play in my mother’s makeup case; I was always so excited! My mom made our costumes every year; Later in life, I began sewing my own; not only for Halloween, but for clubbing and photography. I studied display and Exhibit Design at FIT and started working at MAC Cosmetics in 1994; this is where my makeup training began. I’m fascinated with the concept of transformation. I love that makeup, hair and costuming can completely disguise someone. It’s a moment to become someone else… even if just in one’s own mind. I think I picked up my first camera at the age of five. I always loved taking pictures. I used to spend hours in the darkroom printing my black and white photos... and then I discovered Photoshop - OH THE OPPORTUNITY!”

“Mental Illusions” opening reception will be held on November 18, 2015, 6-9 PM. A private preview will be held from 1-5PM on November 18th. For more information and to RSVP, please contact rsvp(at)xtian-nyc(com)com or visit
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