Feature

Through the Looking Glass

November 2003

On illusion

“If you look at my paintings long enough it’s like you are looking through them, and every time you look at them it’s different because you are intellectually assimilating what you see. Physical positive space, physical negative space, and all these paradigms help you figure out where you are. I’m not trying to screw around with you. I’m trying to help you prove where you are in relationship with everything.”

On his art and the world

“So much work goes into each piece. I look at them and say, ‘Charlie, don’t worry so much.’ It’s like a person who wants to be a missionary and save the world. What about your own backyard? Can you spend time loving your neighbor? If I’m loving my neighbor and he’s loving his neighbor, it’s exponential. So if I can take care of each little part of my painting and have it turn out beautiful then I can take care of my own backyard and the world will be beautiful.”

On perception

“I think we become survivors. We are so bombarded by media that sometimes we throw out the simple truths because we’re told it’s more spam.”

On his vision

“I see twice as fast as most people. I see too much all the time. I wonder: Where do you stop the spam filters? That’s where the paradigm comes in: People are always answering things in different ways.”