Christina Quarles

born 1985


Christina Quarles (born 1985) is a queer, mixed contemporary American artist and writer, living and working in Los Angeles, whose gestural, abstract paintings confront themes of racial and sexual identities, gender, and queerness. She grew up as an only child to a single mother and started drawing from an early age. She took her first life drawing class at age 12. During high school, she developed skill and learned techniques from her teacher Joseph Gatto that she still uses. “He spoke of the muscle memory of rendering the form,” she said. “Before making a mark, you would trace the movements to outline the figure, with just charcoal dust. When you started to draw, if you made a mistake, you wouldn’t erase it, because that would reinforce the muscle memory; instead, you should go over it with a new mark.”

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