A Peering

Thursday, April 27, 2017–Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Gallery at the Sheen Center

"A Peering"

Works from the Artist's Studio

artworks by Christopher Alles


Artist's Statement

For me, the ideal, the perfect, always is in the mind, but through the human experience, the perfect falls short of the ideal. There is a lifelong tension that exists between what is true universally and the reality of our failing this truth: again, through human experience, though varied and personally lived. 

I am interested in the task of the artist: the artist as a conduit to the human experience in the tangible and transcendent, the artist who accepts the task to enter into the the tension and mystery of experience while removing all that distracts. Art is not an escape, but an embrace of what is most fully lived and real. In this way, the human experience is elevated through the means of art and that tension is made meaningful as it offers a window, indeed “a peering”, in to what is possible and Infinite.

To achieve this, an artist must try, must press himself towards the creation of a "little world" with his art, giving it its own properties and rules of logic. These rules determine the drama of any work. How the author maintains the rules, how the rules may break or be stretched to cause a tension and how they resolve are meant to build and reflect the image of our experience: experience of life and our desire for the Divine.


Christopher Alles is a sculptor currently residing in New York. He began drawing at the age of two, but it was not until sixteen years later that he began to take art seriously. This ultimately led him to Florence, Italy, where he apprenticed for six months under sculptor Dony MacManus. There he discovered the beauty and power of the Italian Renaissance masters, and in the presence of the raw energy of their work, he encountered the need to become a sculptor.

After his time in Italy, Christopher returned home to Portland, Oregon, and continued his studies with Polish sculptor Tomasz Misztal. Under Misztal’s guidance, he discovered how to link the influence of the past with those of the present. Consequently, his work often references and quotes the artists ranging from the Renaissance to the early to mid -Twentieth Century. His primary process behind the creation of his art consists of a study from the past and its development to now, then responding to the contemporary world in light of this study.

Christopher has done work around the US, most notably the restoration of the statuary at St. Malachy’s Church, (The Actor’s Chapel) in New York, and has several sculpted portrait commissions for clients around the world. His goal is to create work that is rooted in the tradition of the great sculptors of the past—Michelangelo, Rodin, Brancusi—but yet speaks to a contemporary audience.