Christian Pearson (SUMO): From Graffiti to Galleries
Sumo, the Luxembourg-based urban artist behind the iconic "Crazy Baldhead" character, creates paintings that capture the concept of infinite time and space using bold colours, playful slogans, and dynamic patterns. He's collaborated with Luxair and Porsche, among others.
Can you present your career in a few words?
I started drawing as a child, and found my signature style when I discovered graffiti as a teenager in the 90s. I studied graphic design in London, perfected my graffiti skills, and first created my signature character, the Crazy Baldhead in 1999. At the turn of the millennium, I created hand-drawn stickers and posters which I pasted in the streets, and had my first exhibition in 2002. In 2007, I opened a concept store with an urban art gallery, before focusing on becoming a full-time artist in 2011. Since then, I've mainly painted canvases and collaborated with various companies and prestigious brands. In 2018, I moved to a new studio, Gallery 1:1, near Luxembourg Central Station. In 2023, I'll be focusing on exploring digital art and web 3.0.
“Through my art, I aim to capture moments and freeze time on canvas.”
What artists, works or trends inspire you?
I find inspiration in bright and pure colors, as well as popular culture, such as music, album covers, band logos, MTV, comic books, video games, skateboarding, packaging, advertising, graphic design, social media, and memes. These elements fuel my passion for painting on canvases. While I was never into art, Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein deeply impressed me as the first artists I encountered. Today, I am more interested in artists' stories and approaches rather than their art itself, seeking out inspiration from a variety of sources.
What effect do you want to produce with your work?
Through my art, I aim to capture moments and freeze time on canvas, while adding a unique touch through cultural references and word play. My paintings act as details in a much larger picture, striving to capture the concept of infinite time and space. Recurring elements in my work, like my "Crazy Baldhead" character and various patterns, come together to form the fabric of my limitless "Sumoverse." My ultimate goal is to create a large-scale art piece that incorporates all my work from 2012 and beyond, presented as a video or digital installation that links all the paintings in depth. I want the piece to be self-explanatory, allowing viewers to understand my message without explanation. With the increasing relevance of digital art, I aim to create works that can be experienced, not just viewed.