Artist Statement

Cristhian Varela is a nerd, a hopeless romantic, and very sensitive. He is a middle school child in sheep’s clothing. From the pits of his being, he decrypts the inner workings of his subconscious, reliving his repressed memories and emotions in order to tell the stories of an acutely confused, awkward, and dorky Latino boy. Shaped by his experiences of being alternative (goth, emo, scene) by circumstance, not by choice, Cristhian creates work that speaks to a generation of teens who clutched a Camus novel while being raised by their true father, the television. Witness tales of the gut-wrenching despair of being alone at a middle school dance, or the bliss of getting a PlayStation for Christmas and embracing nerdy solitude. These slices of life are actualized in the form of objects, videos, and performances. These works are made in an effort to confront, cope with, and rationalize the trauma of the human condition. By re-contextualizing the familiar world in which he lives, Cristhian’s pieces are collages of growing pains, cartoons, and existential dogma.