Chris Landreth


Artist Statement

My films and my artwork share a common element, which is an attempt to fuse realism and psychology in a seamless visual form. My films have explored storytelling based on graphically depicting human psychology and behaviour as much as animating with photorealistic CGI. I call this endeavor “psychorealism”.

One of my occupations is teaching animators about the human face—it’s here that the slightest muscle tic, the most fleeting dart of the eyes, the smallest delay in a smile, can reveal an epic story, if you know how to find it in the folds and dimples of a person’s face. This is where the realism of portrature and the abstract forms of unconscious psychology collide. This is where I do much of my exploration.

James Joyce is a troubling and exasperating subject, because his face lacks those expressive cues that make portraiture easy. However, his writing defines the expression that his face hides: explosive, fractured, disorganized, brutal. He was arguably the first human to create, in writing, a photrealistic image of the subconscious. Here is a snapshot of that image.



View Chris Landreth's Bio

Chris started his adult life as an mechanical engineer, until he decided in 1990 that doing animation would be much more fun. Since then he’s directed several CGI-animated short films, including ‘the end‘ (1995), ‘Bingo‘ (1998), ‘Ryan‘ (2004) and ‘The Spine‘ (2009). ‘Ryan‘, an animated documentary about fellow animator Ryan Larkin, received over 60 international awards, including an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Animated Short Film. ‘Bingo‘, an absurdist fable featuring very bad clowns, received a Genie Award for the same category in 1999. He has just completed ‘Subconscious Password‘, a short film that shows the struggle and triumph of trying to remember a friend’s name.

Chris has been a part of the artist collective The Five Lovely Guys for 12 years. This collective of friends and colleagues from the Toronto School of Art has goaded, prodded and inspired him to grow another artistic limb, one that sees and senses and captures the human form.