Chris Beck is an Alabama Native who currently resides in North Georgia. From a young age, Chris expressed an interest in art, and he had supportive parents who encouraged his creative talents. After earning a BA in English, Chris began a homebuilding career in Atlanta where he was introduced to self-taught art. In 2006, Chris met Alabama art legend Charlie Lucas who encouraged Chris to “find what’s inside”. Inspired by Lucas’ work, Chris purchased a second-hand welder in January of 2007 and began working with metal. Chris’ work has been recognized through numerous awards, magazine and newspaper articles, museum purchases, and public art installations. Chris’ work is widely collected both nationally and internationally.
I believe my gift is just that. A gift. I believe that all creativity is God-given and God inspired. I appreciate pretty. I see what’s not there. I want to make something from nothing. I am defiantly proud to challenge the concept: “you can’t do that, like that, with that”. And when everything is pounded away, the reason I do what I do is because I can't not. Why clothes? Why not? It’s what I see when I look at a flat sheet of steel.
My creative process is simple. And complicated. Sometimes I see an idea in my mind, and sometimes I let the metal talk about what it wants to be. Using reclaimed rusty barn roofing, I sketch a rough pattern using a soap-stone chalk and then cut the patterns with a torch. Using a hammer and anvil, I hand-form each piece into shape and hem the edges with a pair of pliers. I then arc weld the individual pieces together. Using a brush and house paint, I layer the paint darker to lighter, and then I seal the work with an auto-body clear coat.
When producing my work, I am happiest when what I saw in mind is tangibly in my hands-this is how I know the piece is complete. What I like most about my work is the overall presentation of pretty. I work hard to perfect symmetry, proportion, and movement. I enjoy the difficulty in making hard, cold, and rigid appear soft, dainty, and delicate. The process is overwhelmingly taxing, but there is great reward and personal satisfaction in honoring the gift I am blessed to possess.