The brilliant work of artist Charlie Masson


We found the work of artist Charlie Masson on Instagram, of all places, and instantly recognized that this was no amateur but a soaring talent to be reckoned with. Charlie was born in New York, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Royal Drawing School in London and Camberwell College of Arts. He is a young man, just 30, yet his often enigmatic work, while autobiographical, speaks agelessly about his searing impressions of his environment.

We were first intrigued by his Postcards series, inspired by his personal collection of postcards accumulated over the years at a wide variety of galleries and art museums internationally. These small treasures echo the originals in haunting vagueness; art imitating life, imitating art. The shapes are spare but calculated; the forms eerily suggestive; sometimes, the colors evocative of the original; others are done in elusive grey tones. They capture the extraordinary in the ordinary and clearly infer a narrative outside the frame of the picture.

His “Keepsakes” and “Last Orders” series seem at times a nod to the trompe l’oeil work of Edward Collier or Hoogstraten but are more wobbly and free, more evocative, suggesting the viewer do the interpreting. Charlie’s “Avatars” offer portraiture that is strong, loose and powerful.

It is in his “Into the Night” paintings that Masson gets quite noir and we get to see his darker side. They suggest a somewhat voyeuristic glimpse in another person’s life as do his “Rear Window” works. The Rear Windows are among our favorites, haunting, Hopper-esque, often sad and lonely, always moody. But it is obvious he has given them much thought as these scenes appear to be subjects he has seen on a regular basis and subjects he struggles with to present in quite a different perspective while knitting his whole body of work together.

His “One Offs’ are just that—they could be an ashtray or an automobile, but as you look hard, you begin to see more. Things in Charlie Masson’s world is never about what they appear initially to be.

Masson has recently embarked on a collaborative effort with Pietro Pasolini, a friend and talented photographer with whom he will run an artistic workshop in Capalbio, Italy. We look forward to seeing what their combined energies in print making and photography will produce. Working from a transformed old barn, they will offer courses to art enthusiasts and professionals in the summer and in the low season the workshop will function as a residency program for artists.

Charlie Masson is no secret in the art world: he has exhibited in Rome, London, New York, Miami, Paris and China. His work is in the collections of many notable collectors and he has been the subject of several important articles in print. We strongly believe this is the time to acquire one or more of his works…but now when he is still reasonable priced, from about $600 and up.

While you will most likely find him these days jetting between Italy, New York and Scotland these days, you can always contact the artist at http://www.charlie-masson.com.

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