Chris Morin /MAGIC EYES (Billboard Project)
On view February-March, 2022
MAGIC EYES explores the concepts of surveillance, both real and imagined, within a world that’s equal parts whimsy and despair. A heaping dose of real-life mundanity among the strange and surreal, this piece presents paranoid marches, vice, and indifference in cartoonish colours and characters. Distractions reign supreme, neighbours regard each other warily, screens provide entertainment at best, anger at worst, while nerves unravel. Presented in panoramic view, MAGIC EYES aims to be a visually striking celebration of images that are warm and friendly and familiar, but, upon closer reflection, invite the viewer into a world where even unnoticed gestures have deep, resonating ripples.
Fun fact: MAGIC EYES is an illustrated billboard. It’s also a piece of digital augmented reality. Use your smartphone to see a tiny piece of animation that you can literally hold in your hand.
Download the Artivive app from the App Store and scan the central character for a perhaps surprise – this tool works best when the sticker is placed on a plain/white surface. It may take a bit of finangling, but trust us, it works. Find anything else? It’s worth a scan.
Working in-between the digital, print and adhesive realms, Chris Morin creates visually-striking illustrations that are boldly whimsical yet offer sly nods to the environment surrounding them. These images are presented as something out of the ordinary juxtaposed with something familiar, such as a place to get pizza, where we walk our pets, where to people watch, consume culture, endure the weather, and where we meet and sweep each other off our feet.
Chris Morin has exhibited work in galleries and festivals across the world. In addition to putting together a digital installation for the LUGO event at the Remai Modern in 2019, he has assembled installations for Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche festival in 2018 and 2019, and had his illustrations featured in New York’s iconic Times Square on a massive digital billboard as part of the ZAZ10TS group art show in 2020.
A prolific GIF artist, Chris’ Giphy channel has amassed over 400 million views, while his print work has appeared in group shows around the world, including Northern Contemporary in Toronto, Canada, MergeCulture in Florida, USA, and Ben Frost Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. In 2019, he taught zine workshops and risograph printing at Princeton University through Void Gallery. // linktr.ee/chrixmorix