Shoot Your Shot
By CJ Troxell
Published Issue 114, June 2023
Shoot Your Shot is a slab life still life 4/4, originally 12″x 14″
Born and raised in California, CJ became interested in surfing and skateboarding from a young age. He graduated U.C. Santa Cruz where he majored in psychology. His close friend and roommate at the time, David Shull, was studying art and inspired him to begin painting himself.
After leaving Santa Cruz, he relocated to New Orleans where he worked at a psychiatric hospital as a counselor on the graveyard shift. His experiences there further inspired him to understand and connect with people from different walks of life.
The next 15 years of his life were spent traveling and painting throughout Europe, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam and the United States. Eventually his paintings caught the eyes of artists and local gallery owners, resulting in number of group and solo exhibitions.
Much of CJ’s artwork focuses on connected yet contrasting elements of life; old versus new, life versus death, beauty versus grotesque, in attempt to convey feelings of impermanency and imperfection in the viewer. His work shows an appreciation of life’s inherent duality between these extremes. This duality is the commonthread of all life, yet seldom acknowledged. His paintings challenge western ideals of beauty and perfection by including evidence of aging; decay, suffering, and ultimately death. He is inspired by the Japanese ideas, or cultural concepts, of “ichi-go ichi-e,” which translates roughly to “this time only, once in a lifetime, just as we are,” as well as “wabi sabi,” which is the acceptance and appreciation of transiency and imperfection in life. According to this concept, nothing is complete, nor permanent, and is often linked to Zen Buddhism and Japanese tea ceremony.
His intent is for the viewer to tune out both past and future, surrendering entirely to the essence of the painting in that exact moment. Each painting is to be seen as a window, looking through and connecting with nature on a visceral level.
See more of his work on his site and on Instagram.