This site is a showcase and an introduction to my visual art, novels, and other projects. I currently have a studio in San Francisco, in Potrero Hill with Art Explosion, an amazing collective of over 100 artists, with frequent open studio showings and gallery shows. Please contact me to view our gallery or my work. I have regular shows there and have been showing in galleries, cafes, and other venues since the late nineties.
Most of the images of my art are on the flickr group shown below and recently on redbubble.com. Please contact me to visit my studio and see my collection and works in progress. I'm working on an iphone/ipad app that I am hoping will be available on other platforms soon.
My first book, called Blue (and inspired by two films: Betty Blue and Kieslowski's Blue), was published in 2000, a novella, and my second manuscript, a full-length novel, called Atrocity or Daydream Nation, was completed in 2009 and is seeking an agent or publisher. I have completed the first draft of a new novel and have recently started a new online prose project, in addition to my blogging and microblogging on tumblr, facebook, and twitter. Also about.me/charleskeatts
The Castle by Franz Kafka, like all his writings, influenced me a lot as a writer. The search for knowledge and instructions by K., the land surveyor, is an epic story. According to What is one of many great paintings by Jasper Johns that has influenced me in terms of color, composition, and reminding me of Johns' idea to work in isolation, without influence, at times. Kafka, Johns, and others in their world remind me to keep going, keep working.
Autobiography, artist statement, etc
I grew up in Ohio where I had a knack for writing and an interest in reading, including science fiction. Later I grew into literature and began writing poetry and more experimental or modern fiction. In 1989 after spending some time in Europe I began to paint and make other forms of art. I self-published my first novel, Blue, in 2000.
Here is my newest artist statement which reflects a new understanding, I think, of my visual art (and my writing to some extent):
All things that begin, like this planet, our species, all species, will have an ending, and I think my art in some ways expresses that process of decay and death in as beautiful a way as I can imagine it. The end of this world is inevitable, unless we build some giant machine to replace or control the sun, and we will eventually leave or vanish like everything that transforms. Decay, death, debris, destruction, Kali, Shiva, these are the subjects of my work. In my end is my beginning, as Eliot said in Four Quartets, but my art shows the end is not a bang or a whimper, describing the gentle beauty in the transformation of things, all that we know. The end of the world as we know it, with complicated feelings.
Buddhists teach the importance of treating the dying with gentleness, kindness and love. Hospice care for the world? Billions of years from now this planet may be dust or just a rock, floating around a dying sun. Everything that begins is born, dies, ends. Energy and matter. I am interested in a variety of media and supports including canvas, fabric, paper, oil, resin, glass, objects, etc. I have been making and showing visual art since 1989 in galleries and other venues in Ohio, Oakland, and San Francisco. For more information about work, prints, commissions, or online galleries please email me at keatts at gmail dot com for details. Please see me for any questions about pricing.
My writing began with fiction, short stories, as a kid, and progressed to the journal in high school with Progoff's Journal Workshop, which I have dabbled in but really got me writing every day. When I started other forms it was free verse then the novel, which became my main interest eventually when I put together some connected stories and reworked them to form my first novella, Blue, self-published in 2000. I recently completed another novel, much longer, called Daydream Nation and seek an agent. I have another rough draft in the works as well.
My writing started off with a focus on addiction, mental illness, language, and ontological being. I moved into an interest with technology and also grief, death, friendship, mentorship, and ecology. I am currently interested more in manifestations of darkness or evil, here and abroad, in war and our nightmares.