Christopher Saucedo was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BFA from New York's School of Visual Arts and his MFA from the University of Michigan. After attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture he did post-graduate work at the Queens University of Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Saucedo joined the faculty at Adelphi University on Long Island, after being at the University of New Orleans for 20 years, where he was Professor of Sculpture and chairperson of the Fine Arts Department.

Over the past 25 years Saucedo has exhibited his artwork in over 50 exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. He has recently exhibited sculpture at the Contemporary Arts Center, in an exhibit entitled Swagger of A Lost Magnificence, and the Good Children Gallery exhibit entitled Hit Refresh, both in New Orleans. In the past few years Saucedo has also completed three major public works in New Orleans, most notably a sculpture entitled, Flood Marker, an 8,000-pound freestanding monumental block of granite with line drawings of water waves, memorializing the catastrophic 2005 flood that followed Hurricane Katrina.

This past fall his solo exhibition titled, September 11, 2001 (Please stop saying 9/11), at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, was a presentation of ethereal and fragile imagery of the former World Trade Center were his youngest brother Gregory, a New York City Fire Fighter, was last seen charging up the stairs of the North Tower, against a stream of evacuees, to assist others.  Last July he presented a monumental sculpture made of oyster shells, glass and bronze, as a response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in Catalyst at the Contemporary Arts Center in Mobile, Alabama. Currently he is organizing an exhibition of New Orleans artists for an April 2014 exhibition at the Proteus Gowanus gallery in Brooklyn, New York on the theme of water. He is also continuing work on a monumental public work for the St Claude Arts district in New Orleans tilted; You Must Be This Tall.

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Opening June 20th 2013, 7 p.m.

Christopher Saucedo

“The Glass Half Empty, The Glass Half Full”

“Das Glas Halb Leer, Das Glas Halb Voll”

“Before Hurricane Katrina I was playing in our New Orleans backyard with my school-aged children in giant barrels full of water. We calculated each of our displaced volumes by carefully re-filling over-spilled barrels with gallon, quart and cup containers or water. I remember the kids tallying our ‘fluid volume’ on their playhouse chalkboard; we knew how many gallons, and quarts and cups each of us were. We compared results and laughed and stayed cool in the hot Louisiana summer. I measured in at just less than 29 gallons and my 8 and 9-year old children, who repeated the refreshing but non-exact experiment over and over again, were less than 10 gallons apiece. We all knew the empirical measure of gallons, quarts and cups and we had a personal relationship to each. I made sculpture about it and even a comic strip diagram of the experiment. *

The August 2005 flood that followed Hurricane Katrina consumed most of New Orleans including my neighborhood, home and studio. When we were allowed back into the city to assess the damage I pried open the water-swollen door to my home and found the residue of a beautiful underwater kingdom of exotic and colorful mold; odor aside my living room looked like an ancient lake bed. Most memorably was a sturdy curio cabinet full of an assortment of seldom-used wine glasses and brandy snifters. Although the floodwaters had gently receded each of these glasses remained full of Katrina water to the tip-top brim. I carefully poured off the water into a big 5-gallon water bottle. I still have that sealed container of Katrina.

To make a long story a little shorter and to jump forward seven years to 2012 and another Hurricane, this time in Rockaway Beach, New York, my home and studio flooded again. Perhaps foolishly but with a real desire to witness it all first hand I didn’t evacuate like we did for before. As my now grown up son and I were shuffling books and drawings upstairs in waist-high water with flashlights in our teeth to light the dark path I realized we were back in that barrel of water and that the experiment continues. A few days later the Red Cross gave us nicely wrapped emergency blankets, which I saved for this project.

All of that said I hope the title of this exhibition: The Glass Half Empty / The Glass Half Full, makes better sense for the viewer. I find myself on that thin edge between optimism and pessimism or at least I need to believe it’s a safe place to hang onto for a little while.”  (Saucedo 2013)

Self-Portrait in Exact Weight and Volume Only (diagram):