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Christopher Callahan, from Narberth Pennsylvania, is a pensive man; economical with his words. Despite a soft spoken persona, Chris has a profound and settled presence. He talks very little of his work believing that good art should stand on its own, that a painter's experience is separate from that of the viewer's.

A self-taught outsider artist, Callahan has been drawing and painting for nearly 35 years. Chris attributes his art education to having worked at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. He quit college after two years and found a job working as a janitor at the Barnes. He immersed himself studying and looking at the amazing collection with any free time during and after hours. He started drawing with no instruction and his natural talent was quickly recognized by Miss Violette de Mazia. As her protégé, Callahan became intimate with and conversant on one of the world's foremost French post impressionist private art collections. Through years of attending classes and ultimately teaching in the Barnes docent program himself, Callahan absorbed the Barnes principles so that now he applies them subconsciously to his unique painting style.

Apart from the inescapable influences of the Old Masters, Callahan believes that discovery, over time, has nurtured his results. Exacting remarkable freedom yet with a definitive direction, his work evidences diversity, painting form, figure and abstraction. Further subdivisions of his work include folk art, impressionism, structuralism and a hybrid form of cubism. Liking the formalism of Charles Demuth's "My Egypt," Chris began supplanting the rigidity of line with the softness of organics.

After living in a cabin for a period of time, Chris is now living in Reading, PA and working from a studio located in the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.

Chris Callahan Biography photo at the Outsider Folk Art Gallery
Callahan, Christopher
(1953 - Present), Pennsylvania

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