Christopher Leith Evans
Christopher Leith Evans
|Born||1954 (age 64–65)|
|"New York In the Light of Memory"|
Christopher Leith Evans (born 1954) (commonly credited as Christopher Evans or Chris Evans) is an American artist, digital matte painter and visual effects art director for major motion pictures. Evans' paintings are characterized by a highly realistic representation of landscape, architecture, and the human figure.
Evans was born in 1954 in Bremerton, Washington, to Virginia Joan (née Bartholomew) and Alan Edward Evans. As a child, Evans was encouraged by his parents to express himself through drawing and painting. In high school, he joined the staff of the school newspaper, drawing cartoons and caricatures, writing and illustrating articles and taking photographs. Inspired by a teacher, Evans began to focus his academic career on art, traveling to Europe upon graduation and viewing classical art in museums in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and England. While his family members supported his artistic endeavors as a youngster, when Evans applied to college he was encouraged to seek an education preparing him for a "real job". He began classes at UCLA as an art history major, but continued to paint in his free time. Upon showing his work to his art history professors, Evans was encouraged by them to change his major area of study, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1977 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, sculpture and graphic arts. He continued his studies and received a Master of Fine Arts from the same university in 1980.
Shortly after college, Evans watched the film The Empire Strikes Back. Impressed by the film's portrayal of the Cloud City, he submitted samples of his work to George Lucas' company, Industrial Light & Magic, and was offered a position as a matte painter.
Evans subsequently became the head of the matte painting department at ILM, where he continued to work until 1989, contributing to such films as Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, The Dark Crystal and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. While at ILM, Evans was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Willow, and was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for his work on The Ewok Adventure.
After leaving ILM, Evans joined Matte World Digital, where he worked as a digital matte painter and art director, contributing to films including Titanic, The Green Mile and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Evans' art has been displayed in several solo, group and public exhibitions, including shows at the New York Historical Society, Duke University Museum of Art, the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Los Angeles Theater Center, and has been featured in the New York Times. His best known work is "New York In the Light of Memory", a panoramic representation of the view from The South Tower of the World Trade Center prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Evans has also contributed historical recreations of anthropological sites to National Geographic magazine. He is currently represented by the Fischbach Gallery in New York City.
Awards and nominations
- 1979 Ford Foundation Travel/Study Grant
- del Castillo, Priscilla (2002). "A Talent Without Limits". The Herald of Christian Science. Special Issue. pp. 22–26.
- Chell, David (1987). Moviemakers at Work. Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Press. pp. 293–294. ISBN 1-55615-037-7.
- "Fischbach Gallery website".
- Diaz, Jesus. "How the original Star Wars trilogy fooled everyone with matte paintings," Sploid, January 19, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- Duncan, Jody (January, 2009) "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Cinefex, No. 116, pgs. 94-96
- "9/11/02: Art And Culture". Gotham Gazette. September 9, 2002.
- Bailey, Peter (July 24, 2002). "City's Emotions on View". Newsday.com.
- "C. Evans" (PDF). Bay Shore High School Anumni Inductees. Bay Shore, New York: Bay Shore High School Alumni Association. 2004.
- "Christopher Evans' Official Website".
- Smith, Thomas G. (1986). Industrial Light and Magic: The Art of Special Effects. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-32263-0.
- Cotta Vaz, Mark; Patricia Rose Duignan (1996). Industrial Light & Magic: Into the Digital Realm. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-38152-1.
- Cotta Vaz, Mark; Craig Barron (2002). The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting. San Francisco, California: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-4515-1.