christopher gustave Saint Louis, Missouri

Christopher Gustave was born and grew up in the deserts around Phoenix, Arizona. From a very early age, it was clear he’d be an artist. The other kids from his elementary school class used to pay him to draw pictures for them. In high school, however, he rejected art class, as all the other students were just taking it because they thought it was going to be an easy A, which it was, and which sort of ruined it for him.

Once he graduated high school he was accepted to - and took a foundation year with - the erstwhile Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. He did very well in that first year, but was ultimately unable to finish due to then-undiagnosed symptoms of mental illness. He still tells everyone that he graduated, though, with honors.

After that he drifted a bit, taking various jobs and classes which would permit him the opportunity to continue to expand and refine his creative sensibilities, develop his craft, and express himself with a constant, searching honesty, a challenging experimental abandon and a gleeful attention to detail.

He showed his work widely in both Los Angeles and San Francisco before he moved to St. Louis for arbitrary reasons. Then he showed in St. Louis a lot. He exhibited his ever-evolving collections of iconic, detritus-based constructions wherever he could, rejecting no opportunity for critique, exposure and the occasional sale. In the years surrounding the turn of the century, he adopted several media such as photography, digital arts, printmaking, welding, woodworking and a certain philosophy-based prose style, all of which he employs in his work to this day.

When asked to comment on his work, Gustave exclaims, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No one should ever have to write their own bio!”