Christian Pontus Andersson (born 1977) is a Swedish artist and sculptor, living in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Christian Pontus Andersson was born in the small town Brattfors, county of Värmland, in Sweden. First working as a television journalist, Andersson hesitated between studying plastic surgery or becoming an artist. He started studying ceramics at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, in Stockholm in 2002. During his studies, he opened a ceramic workshop in the Chinese “porcelain capital” Jingdezhen where he produced his master’s degree project, the large scale baroque series Cry Me the Sorrows (2007). Combining both high artistic and craftsmanship level, his work gained a lot of attention at the annual Spring exhibition, and led to his first acclaimed solo exhibition at Christian Larsen Gallery (Aerea). Andersson has also exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Stockholm, and participated in group exhibitions in Tokyo, Munich, Frankfurt, and Milan
The work of Christian Pontus Andersson balances between kitch and stringent form, creating a contrast between the extravagant homoerotic appearances of the figures and the fragile material of which they are made As sources of inspiration, Andersson mentions Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, and his work also resembles of Michelangelo, Matthew Barney and Jeff Koons.
In Farewell Eden Christian-Pontus Andersson creates a parallel world that trancends the human quest for perfection and fortune; a mental refuge, a beautiful fictional reality with the grandeur of the modern far beyond the one we know. There is a desire to avoid an inevitable decay, it is a disposable reality in which the artist puts himself and those he holds most deeply to his heart - a mother, father, former boyfriends - in an attempt to confidently promise a more peaceful existence.
If previous works revolved around the young, male, body's potential for perfection, in which depersonalized sculptures stood as a symbol of the universal quest for idealism, the new works evolve within a more personal realm. Christian-Pontus Andersson burrows deeper into his own skin, by giving the sculptures a specific personal characteristic by donning the skin of a beloved person, the sculptures cease to be merely symbols of the human and the roles we play, and instead - through the truly personal - capture something deeply universal.
"Cities are devastated and give way to forests and mountains. A string quartet and you and me in the grass, harmony and unison. This is where we go when we are tired and no longer seem to be good enough."
Farewell Eden acts as a personal extension of the myth of the Garden of Eden and the notion of eternal life, where the artwork attempts to address man's inescapable transience. It is a peaceful world that we gain access to, a perfect and fabulous place where trusting animals embrace or carry the sculptures like good samaritans. It is an animated world, a paradise where verdure shine of magic and grief becomes a dazzling white plumage, with this magnificence the grief becomes easier to bare. At the same time - as so often in Christian-Pontus Andersson's work- perfection becomes fractured, exposing something deeply paradoxical. On the one hand this parallel reality aims to serve as a peaceful secure place, beyond the polemics between perfectionistic ideals and inevitable physical decay, on the other hand, it is a desire for pure perfection, and as such can only exist through a continual rigorous working regime.
"In Eden, we are as one. Together we are building and working hard to ensure our paradise is as beautiful, perfect and magnificent as possible. We build walls that block out the real. "
The longer we stay secure, the clearer the distance to the reality and the clearer it seems that an unpleasant alternative reality is taking shape around us. We are reminded that everything we encounter is a fictitious alias - the sculptures are doll-like, the animals are lifeless fragments of lives that are no longer; the cold harsh surface of the metal instruments is in stark contrast and makes itself felt. Suddenly the weight being carried on the shoulders is embraced. Suddenly safety appears as an illusion. Suddenly, we see what it really is.
A beautiful realm of death.
CRY ME THE SORROWS
A cast of austere androgynes populates the porcelain world created by Christian-Pontus Andersson. All of these sublimely formed inhabitants have their own characteristics and specific relationships with each other, but they live out their lives in limited freedoom; constrained, conditioned and manipulated by their sovereign ruler.
Old-fashioned discourses have until quite recently upheld the classification of works in porcelain as craft. Christian-Pontus Andersson’s use of porcelain as the material for his outstanding sculptural works creates new dynamic perspectives on sculpture, craft works and the use of porcelain as an artistic medium.
Christian-Pontus Andersson was born in 1977 and is a recent graduate from the ceramics and glass department at Konstfack. He has exhibited at the National museum in Stockholm and has participated in group exhibitions in Tokyo, München and Milan.