Artist Interview: Chris Surposa

Print of the painting “Transmutation" by Chris Surposa (aka Noble Arts Project)

You might not be surprised if I told you that Chris’ work is heavily influenced by sacred geometry. What’s more apparent though, at least at first look, is the multitude of symbols he presents, and their intense interplay. Should I be surprised when our conversation was enlivened with the same?

As with anything we encounter, or choose to take-in enough to alter our reality- we aren’t always quite ready for the experience. The experience takes us if you let it. Though, often in the modern day we don’t allow it. Perhaps this is because, as Chris says “We don’t know how to pray anymore.” Our lives are saturated. Our necks are heavy with the draw of the little screen. However, most of the pull of social media is a simple need for connection. There is hope in this, if we remember the value of our time, and choose more often to forgo online presence for fully engaging in the present with others.

Such was my conversation with Chris- engaging, alive, and filled with ideas. Artists in the flesh are always more attractive, as is a painting right there in front of you, or leaned against a Subaru. Perhaps these are all reasons why Chris got into live painting.

He found his path in painting, it seems, on a spiritual path as well, and was lead on his spiritual way, actually, by math. The math of sacred geometry appealed to his self-proclaimed masculine need for a cognitive link to the spiritual. However, he also realizes a need for balancing his need with feminine energy as well. He holds true to the power of mystery, explaining, “magic is a physics not yet known. The minute it’s known, then it’s science.” If you can picture science and mystery all wrapped into one- a balance of masculine and feminine energies- this is the Noble Arts Project aesthetic.

Chris' motivation for creating art is simple and deep. He hopes his art will help people to achieve, or at least become aware of ways to achieve emotional equilibrium and stability. A noble mission indeed. Through Noble Arts Project, he can create and maintain a bit of mystery while his art- his practice and ideas, stand in the forefront. “I’m not trying to prove myself to the spiritual community or the art community, just really to myself.”

Chris grew up in Queens, New York, but it was in the Philippines that his life began. At around four years old, his mother kidnapped him to the states. His parent’s marriage had been an arranged one. His father’s family were mafia-type aristocrats. His mother’s family was high ranking military. They were wed-locked, and his mother decided to kidnap him to flee his father and their life there. “I had to learn to assimilate into this culture.” It seems Chris has gone through many changes- he even refers to himself as a “cultural chameleon”. He fits in with almost any cultural group. He is often mistaken for being different races. All the while, he maintains a strong identity. Chris is a veteran. Chris was also part of a Thic Nhat Han Monastery in the mountains for a period of time.

I appreciated his stories of selfhood. Many of us are a part of a culture that we were stolen into. Cultural confusion is a mainstay of our modern world. It is hard to tell where certain practices come from, where we end or begin. We accept certain ways of being, and shun others. We buy into “the black magic of money”, as Chris aptly calls a major, modern cultural obstacle. Could art provide us a new currency? Perhaps it does already. Painting has been practiced for centuries. It has stood the test of time. The culture of art is where I myself choose to rest my head, and where Chris doesn’t seem to rest a beat. His art is not just for arts sake. There are many messages in his paintings. They are meant to stand the test of time, and simultaneously, to escape its present constraints.

Chris looks into the future- and it isn’t a dim one. It’s enlightened. He is so critical of modern society, not because he doesn’t believe in humanity- but really quite the opposite. He holds high standards for us and sees how we will look in history, to those in the future, while still amazed with the present and where we’re headed- “We’re like the modern ancients”.

Chris spoke about the activity of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island as a clear sign of massive shifts. Now, “we have geo-physical evidence- liken to our own changes on a molecular level.” Learning to pray, or at least how to look beyond our self-image, is important in these times, to allow these powerful shifts take us where they will. “Within the culture there needs to be people to hold the space- mentally strong people who can facilitate emotional balance in the masses is really what’s needed”. And this comes in many different forms. My conversation with Chris came naturally. It was healing for me on to take in his story- which is profound, and yet all friendship is this way. We just need to take the time to engage. As Chris reminded me, “You don’t have to be an artist – it’s just living with intention”.

Noble Arts Project’s most recent and arguably most important gig to date was for the Summer Solstice Celebration at CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors), a community formed by Alex and Allison Grey. “I’ve recently come into the live paint scene in the past two years. It’s really astonishing to me how quickly I’ve gotten this opportunity.” He attributes a recent hardship- loosing a place in the mountains, his sanctuary for an extended period, as a dynamic of the gifts of sacrifice- his gift being recognition for his art, and coming up in the scene. However, he says “I’m more focused on finishing work, than being in the public eye right now”. He gives props to those artists who were in it before him, and who inspire him in his work- “Krystal Smith aka Krystleyez, Randal Roberts, Morgan Mandala, Aloria Weaver, and David Heskin.”

“Longevity means staving yourself from the public because this culture is so consumeristic. They will just take you like vampires- suck all your energy and spit you out for the next best thing.” So, how can we as consumers be conscious of our role? How do we expect more of ourselves? Let’s be sure to treat artists like friends. Especially those whose art we really like- because art can so easily become a part of a culture of consumerism, and artists can be taken advantage of, underappreciated, or both.

“It’s a life’s work.” – Noble Arts Project

I’ll leave you with Chris’s words from a recent post, as he left for CoSM. It is my hope that you feel his words like I feel them, as a mantra of shared understanding and peace.

“During my travels I pay respects to Mother Earth's changes, I surrender to new potential and possibilities. As Pachamama quakes and purges now, I see an opportunity of self reflection into my own intentions and purpose of being. My thoughts are with the world now through such epic eruptions we bare witness.” - Chris

written by Renee Marino © dirt media 2018