How Hedonistic? Artist Profile: Christopher RJ Worth

Tomorrow night is SEX+STL’s fundraiser and happy hour, How Hedonistic? Growing on what we accomplished two months ago with our 7 Sexy Sins party, How Hedonistic? will have feature the artwork of three different artists, four DJs and an assortment of live nude models for artists to draw!

In order to drum up some excitement, I’ve asked Christopher RJ Worth, one of the artists exhibiting on Wednesday night, to talk about himself and his work.


First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in 1977, in Bridgeport Connecticut with Cerebral Palsy affecting all four limbs. Naturally, cerebral palsy became a filter shaping my world view and process early on. Before moving to St. Louis six months ago, I lived in West Virginia and worked at Marshall University. In Huntington I wrote for the web-based huntingtonnews.net on topics around art, culture, and liberation.

Embrace, by Christopher RJ Worth

Now, can you tell us a little about your work?

I am a portrait/figure painter, focused on the psychological landscapes in the guise of Alice Neel, Alex Katz, and Lucian Freud. By psychological landscapes, I am referring to the psychology of a sitter’s time and place and engaging a collective consciousness as defined by Emile Durkheim.

I attempt to find a universal metaphor, which draws the viewer into dialogue because I don’t treat the sitter as a flesh and blood being; for me the sitter becomes an object, a window into a collective conversation as much for the viewer as for me. I try, in every portrait, to craft a sign or a symbol that will carry the painting beyond my studio, and will transform it into a language statement to be added to the dialogue we call art history past, present, and future.

What inspired you to work with SEX+STL for a fundraising event?

I am Artist who has Cerebral Palsy, and happens to be homosexual. All these labels carry with them their own baggage. I find that the perception held by many—but not all—in the LGBT community is that Physically Challenged Folks are somehow non-sexual, or if we are, it somehow manifests only in a fetish-driven forms. So when Drew Digital offered me a spot in this show, I had to jump at the chance to offer my perspective. In exploring the mission behind SEX+STL, I saw a chance for positive current and future dialogue on the topic of sex in my subculture. I can, I think, offer a unique prospective through both my Work and my overall participation SEX+STL.

Modern Specator, by Christopher RJ Worth

What kind of art can people expect at the upcoming party, How Hedonistic?

For this event I have two more Artists featured along side me.

Whether it is a more physical artistic exploration of ideas defining, redefining hedonism or its a wider artistic conversation about philosophical psychological affects of hedonism in all its forms on a system, you will find it in this show.

My own work often critiques systems of perception. I am doing more of the same in and at this event.

Has your work always had an erotic or sexual element, or is that a recent development?< I think when one works so closely with the figure, as I do, one can’t help but have sexuality play a very strong roll in the process of making art, as well as the final outcome. Because sex is, as I see it, a primary filter by which we move through our world, this is as true even if we are working to suppress it, as it is if we feel liberated in it. As an Artist I feel as though I have a heightened understanding of sexuality. What other erotic artists inspire or excite you?

Both Alice Neel and Lucian Freud have both direct, as well as, indirect erotic qualities.

How can people find your work, and how can they contact you to find out more?

They can go to my website, http://www.crjworth.com, or blog, http://crjworth.wordpress.com


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