Christian Michael Filardo Interview - The Hopper Prize

Christian Michael Filardo

Christian Michael Filardo on an early interest in music, finding inspiration in literature, and how the city of New York functions as a studio.

How did you get into making art?

I’ve always made art really. I suppose it became more serious in my late teens. Music was a lot more relevant in my creative practice for the most part. A more serious visual art practice was definitely born out of an exhaustion with the auditory. Hard to say, been making art so long just feels like it’s always been happening.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on a new book of photographs called “The Lurking Variable” that should come out this fall. I am also making new work for a show in Baltimore, MD at Jackson’s House that will open in in February of 2023.

I believe that one must strive to build a universe with their art making.

Christian Michael Filardo

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

Well, I suppose I inspired myself to do this. This show will be a sequel of sorts to another show. Evolving the mythos etc. Though I would say some direct influences are certainly, Rene Ricard and Sam Shepard to name a few. Writers really inspire me more than visual artists these days.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

Both, the former informs the other and vice versa. I believe that one must strive to build a universe with their art making. If it doesn’t fit in the world you’ve been cultivating you’re doing something wrong.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I can’t afford a studio in the traditional sense. New York is impossibly expensive and I’m broke so I suppose the city in and of itself is my studio. The camera comes with me everywhere, as does the pen. My tools are fluid and thus my studio space remains so as well. I recently lofted my bed so in a way I have the ability to make objects beneath my bed. Bless high ceilings. To get back to the question though. A day in my studio looks like walking, listening to music, drinking, being on the train, more walking. Something here, something there. Oysters at happy hour if I am lucky.

Who are your favorite artists?

Rene Ricard, Sam Shepard, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, Diane Wakoski, mostly I like my friend’s art too, I dunno. I go to visit Bird In Flight at MoMa because it’s far away and you have to look at it from like 10 feet away. Sort of like an actual bird. Sometimes I look at Christina’s World too. That used to be my phone screen saver.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

I go to my friend Jen’s book table outside of Tompkins Square park when she’s there on a sunny day.

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