Featured Secondary Market | Sable Black by Chris Woods

The Secondary Market section of Diane Farris Gallery.com is where you will find works that have come back on the market for resale. Whether it’s a move to a new home, or making space for newer works in a growing collection, we are happy to help our clients find buyers for the works that no longer fit their needs. This makes our Secondary Market a great place to find works from your favorite artists’ past series.

Chris Woods’ Sable Black is one of our current highlights. The painting was included in his exhibition The Magic Hour Part 2 held at Diane Farris Gallery, April 5 – 28, 2007 and brings together the elements that make Woods’ work so unique. Throughout his career he has explored North American consumer culture in his technically refined photo-realistic paintings, adding a healthy dose of humour. In Sable Black we see these elements perfected, the figures are painted so precisely that they can easily be mistaken for a photograph, and Woods has given the work the size and format of the very media he is critiquing. With sword and Cadillac crested shield, his heroes are, perhaps inadvertently, representing the beast they battle.

Chris Woods
Sable Black, 2006
oil on canvas, 90.5 x 60.5 inches

View additional works by Chris Woods

Chris Woods’ Artist Statement: “The Cadillac Escalade is marketed as ‘The worlds most powerful SUV’. Sable Black shows two figures standing in front of a billboard for the Escalade. One holds a sword and another a shield bearing the Cadillac logo. I see this painting as a sequel of sorts to a painting seen in The Magic Hour-Part One called Dragon. In that piece we see a knight with a broken sword defeated by a menacing Escalade. In Dragon the knight was defeated by the monster but in Sable Black he has returned with an ally for a rematch with the SUV and has finally emerged triumphant. Escalada is Spanish for climb and I am struck by how Escalade sounds like escalate, a term that is often used in warfare when the conflict reaches a higher stage of intensity. Escalade is indeed an apt name for such a powerful road machine. Sable Black, by the way, is the one of the options for the Escalade’s exterior paint finish. Also, see the cover painting for the movie ‘Conan the Barbarian’ for some of what inspired this piece.”

From our 2007 Press Release: “The Magic Hour, Part I (June 3 – 26, 2004) examined the dark side of car advertising and addressed its disconnection from the hard reality of gridlock. The large-scale oil paintings, which mimic advertisements and billboards, are huge achievements both technically and conceptually. In Part II Woods admits that, although car culture has become tyrannical in the Western world, it also represents a chance for personal freedom. Though cars may represent the frustrations of gridlock and isolation, they also symbolize the genuine human desire for liberty.

“Woods’ work has appeared on the cover of Adbusters magazine, Saturday Night magazine, in the Kevin Smith film, Clerks 2, the multi award-winning Canadian documentary film The Corporation and numerous other publications. In 2003, he painted the cover for pop group Barenaked Ladies’ album, ‘Everything to Everyone’. He has had numerous solo shows in Canada and the United States.”

Robin Lawrence, the Georgia Straight: “Woods is acclaimed for photo-realist paintings that combine an examination of popular culture with a religious sense of exaltation, even transcendence. In his allegorical tableaux, displaced spiritual longing informs the everyday world of shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, billboards, Coke machines, and now car culture.”

Mia Johnson, Preview Magazine: “Using a combination of photographs shot in his studio, ads culled from magazines and stock photos from the Internet, Woods continues to question not only the influence of the car over us, but our choice in using cars – especially SUVs and other ‘road weapons’ – against ourselves. He asks, ‘Does the car seek to bless us or destroy us?’”


Stacey White is Diane Farris Gallery’s Associate Director. She has worked with the gallery full time since 2007 but first began her relationship with the gallery as an intern in 1999

A Canadian born Jamaican, Stacey White studied fine art at Langara College before attending the University of British Columbia where she received a BFA in visual art. In addition to her work with Diane Farris Gallery, she is on the Art Selection Committee for Art for Life, an annual charity art auction and gala for Friends for Life.

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