Christian Wach: Paintings
Interview by Glenn Sakamoto
Christian Wach is a surfer/artist based in San Clemente, California. Well known for his longboarding skills, Christian's latest passion is his abstract and modernist paintings. We spoke with Christian to learn more.
When did you interest in art and painting begin?
My interest in art and painting started early. My older brother Steve introduced my brother Carson and I to the movie 'The Seedling' by Thomas Campbell. That film really opened our eyes to a whole new culture. Some of my earliest memories of art were of sketching photos of eagles over and over. I was really into sketching eagles for some reason! Then I started painting with acrylic on paper. This moved into sketching photos of Joel Tudor surfing. He was always my favorite surfer growing up. Then we got into spray painting our boards. Later we started incorporating resin with art. This stemmed from our knowledge of using resin for fixing our own dings.
Tell us about your work.
Lately I've been painting with oil on canvas. I like to use a lot of color, really sharp, crisp lines and unique shapes. I also make pieces with layers of rising and acrylic paint. I usually just make these with no initial sketch or concept in mind. I just go for it.
What artists influence you and where do you find inspiration?
I was always inspired by my friends like Tyler Warren, Herbie Fletcher, and photographer Morgan Maassen. Also, other artists I always admired are America Martin, James Verbicky, John McCracken, and Peter Alexander. Thomas Campbell and Andy Davis were also a huge inspirations for me growing up. Their use of color was always really attractive.
My dad Lawrence Wach was always a huge inspiration to me in art and design. He is very creative and has an eye for design. He became interested in Mid Century modern when I was about 10 years old. Modern designers like Ray and Charles Eames, George Nelson. Our entire house changed from antiques to these really cool and unique 1950s/60s furniture pieces and art. This was before this style really took off and became trendy. My Dad has always been way ahead of the curve on stuff like this. He's currently restoring 914 Porsches – I think these are going to go way up in value just as his 356 Porsches did!
Real estate and painting seem so different than each other. How do you balance the two?
Real estate and painting actually go hand in hand in my opinion. I work in residential real estate sales because I am a people person and it's a good fit for me career-wise. Painting is sort of an escape for me. But I work in a high end marketplace where a lot of people tend to appreciate art. I love making art as it's just fun and creative. I've sort of paired the two over time as a lot of my real estate clients like the art I create and sometimes it ends up in their homes. Kinda a cool pairing between the two. Both are very different but can be related as well.
It’s been awhile since we last interviewed you. How has your surfing progressed?
Haha! Yes it has been a long time! I'd say my surfing has moved towards shorter craft since then. Over the past few years I've mostly ridden shorter boards than I did before. I love surfing and I will always surf as it's been one of the biggest blessing to me, but I don't treat it as a career. It's always been more of a recreational thing for me. No sponsors anymore, I just surf and enjoy it for what it naturally is. I like it that way.
What paintings are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a few oil on canvas paintings. I also have a few heavy duty wooden panels built for some new resin pieces I am going to start soon. Looking forward to building some pieces out of polyester resin again. There's something about the pieces with resin layers and acrylic paint that I really like.
What’s next for Christian Wach?
Next? I'm not sure. I have a pretty good thing going on right now. I'm 26, happy, healthy, and doing well in my real estate career. With my art, I recently got representation with a great gallery, Joanne Artman in Laguna Beach. She's also just opened a gallery in New York City where some of my work will be showcased. I'd say I'm pretty content in the moment. I have been very blessed thus far and just want to continue going in a positive direction.