Christian Butterfield works at the intersection of painting and mass media. His early portraits situate the human figure within an abstract aesthetic incorporating collage elements. Using Time magazine as a source, he embeds text or image extracts into the painting to comment, often with humour or sarcasm, on contemporary society.
Butterfield’s work has become increasingly abstract, characterized by a distinctive tactile and sculptural use of paint. Elements of the human body, such as the neck, shoulder, or eye, become inseparable from geometric patterns and futuristic shapes. His layered compositions are influenced by the use of collage in Dada and Surrealist movements. The chosen words and images of the collage elements act as signifiers in relation to his abstract subjects.
The artist is a collector of events. Obsessed with newspapers and magazines, Butterfield started collecting images and texts that symbolize how life is presented in the media to comment on contemporary society. His visual constellations explore the artist's interests in cartoons, history, and pop culture.
Butterfield, who is largely self-taught, was awarded a place at the AKIN Studio Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, and has been represented by Corkin Gallery since 2018.