Christine Forni

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Christine Forni

The mind leaves traces stored within and the body has memories of these imprints. The silhouette portrait series of unseen emotions and previous experiences are inspired by a quote from Virginia Woolf’s diary,”The past is beautiful, one never knows an emotion at the time. It expands later and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present only about the past.” We perceive thoughts with our mind just as we perceive an image with our eye and I’m curious, how are these layered memories stored within?

I work across a range of media, forms and materials coded in nature using my experience of growing up in a dichotomy between imposing industrial complexes and restorative nature and plants in domestic settings. My work touches upon ideas of morphology of phenotypes, subjects that have become poignantly relevant in today’s environmental climate. Being born into a working class family in Cleveland, I draw upon time spent in my youth in the industrial cities of Pittsburgh and Detroit. There I visited automotive paint factories with my father, a paint chemist, to review metal rectangular paint samples nailed from floor to ceiling. Congruently, I spent time creating living botanical specimen collections with my grandmother that began to overtake the formal dining room and I worked the soil with my grandfather planting vegetables and grafting trees in their victory garden to feed the family. These layered alternate environments inspired a fascination around human interpretations of the natural world informing my practice today. The sculptural-landscape installations and schematic industrial collage paintings began in Paris during artist residencies at École du Breuil d’Horticulture and Muséum National d’Historie Naturelle.





$500 - $16,000

For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at or 773.324.5520 x1014.