Chris Sturhann was born at the tail end of the Baby Boom. In many ways, he feels like he's caught between two generations. Because he had older siblings, he remembers and identifies with much of what the Baby Boomers do. But because he was born at the end of the Boom, he shares the sensibilities and cynicism of the younger Generation X.
He has a degree in English from San Diego State University and has worked for a large publisher of science books and journals for more years than he cares to admit. Growing up, he believed that he had no aptitude for art and never had much in the way of formal art training. It wasn't until after he left college and entered the real world that he turned to art, drawing, cartooning, and now mosaics.
He started doing mosaics in 2003, when he found himself with a lot of extra time on his hands. He quickly gravitated toward picque assiette for a number of reasons. First, the materials can found almost anywhere for practically nothing. He loves hunting through thrift shops, garage sales, 99-cent stores for new stuff to break. Second, he likes the idea of breathing new life into things have lost their usefulness. Finally, he feels that we are bombarded everyday with scads of advertising. "We stand in line and pay good money to take someone else's advertising and display it on t-shirts, boxer shorts, and coffee mugs," he says. "We pay a premium to become walking billboards for the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike, and Disney. We don't know art or culture. We only know the cola wars. Me, I just take it a step further. I take this crap and turn it into art."
Mosaics to his meticulous nature, and he likes the permanence of the medium. If properly installed, a mosaic can outlive its creator. That's why he started adding mosaics to that walls of his house in San Diego. "I just got to a certain point in life, where I thought, I'm never going to be a rock star. I'm never going to write the great American Novel or direct a film, but I can take broken stuff and glue it to my house. With any luck, someday they'll make this place a cultural landmark. Either that, whoever ends up with the house after I'm gone will have pay through the nose to have it removed."