Chris Coffin is a surfer, ocean lifeguard, and open water swimmer. He is a two time New York Foundation on the Arts grant recipient, a Rema Hort Mann grant nominee, and a Fulbright Scholarship nominee. He has been reviewed in the New York Times, Addict Magazine, Long Island Newsday, The New Haven Independent, and the Williamsburg/Greenpoint News+Arts. His work has been lectured on at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Coffin resides in Connecticut with his family, and creates his work in and around the waterways of Brooklyn, Long Island, and the New England Coast.
"The water has always inspired Chris Coffin. Influenced by his childhood on Long Island and his background as a lifeguard, swimmer and surfer, his overall body of work is comprised of a wide variety of media including photography, video, installation, performance and drawing. For his window installation, Coffin expands upon a current drawing series, Islands and Coastlines, in which he depicts the water’s edge in rippling, repetitive graphite lines reminiscent of waves, seismic maps and electrocardiograms. In order for Coffin to draw an area, he must have first experienced that stretch of coastline either by swimming, kayaking or surfing the distance. The final drawing, which appears as a bird’s eye view, is in fact tracing the artist’s path. It documents his personal connection to the water and the space where ocean meets land. He uses the languages of science, cartography and technology to create relationships with nature while addressing his own autobiographical history and geography."
Heather Darcy Bhandari: Director of Exhibitions, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY - Former Gallery Director of Mixed Greens Gallery, NYC
"Chris Coffin, a Brooklyn based artist, juxtaposes digital photographs of decaying Brooklyn architecture and industry, focusing mostly around the Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal neighborhoods. Working in a triptych format, Coffin combines the images he captures from his everyday life, exposing the nuances of ordinary visual experience. Images of the ocean abut decaying cranes and gas tanks or graffiti painted walls on decrypted industrial buildings. These images portray the neighborhoods in the midst of transformation, their "ugly" or discarded facades made beautiful by Coffins harmonious pairing with peaceful counterparts. Decaying buildings and factories become icons of change, forever frozen in the new architecture of Coffins triptych format, a frieze-like structure of horizontal imagery."
Jennifer Burbank: Artist and Curator
"Chris Coffin is an artist whose primary subject matter deals with a personal encounter with place. Drawing on a life long relationship to the ocean, this Long Island native creates art from the conflation of the specific and the general, the universal and the personal, from ecological awareness and personal transcendence through action. His most recent installation presented at 31 Grand Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is comprised of wall installations which pair satellite images of specific hurricanes with neatly collected and catalogued artifacts from his experiences surfing the very waves of these storms. The personal, sometimes dangerous, always direct physical encounters are set in the context of the storms at the most macro of scales, the earth itself. The gorgeously abstracted, strangely scientific and gridded images of the earth shown together with the personal record of the experience, create a fruitful tension. The abstraction and seductive curve of the storm in stasis with the distillation of lived experience never ceases to resonate with the power and ephemeral nature of the place and experience, which created it."
David Enriquez: Architect and Designer