5 Questions: Diane Christiansen

Dakinis_Diane_Christiansen Dakinis | 2015 | Spray paint and gouache on paper | 17" x 11” | © Diane Christiansen

Diane Christiansen is a visual artist and musician. Her art practice includes painting, drawing, animation and large-scale collaborative installations. She’s had solo exhibitions in her hometown of Chicago and in many cities all over the U.S. and abroad, including New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, New Orleans, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Her collaborative installation and animation piece “Notes to Nonself,” created with Shoshanna Utchenik, was exhibited in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Ljubljana, Slovenia. Most recently she joined with Jeanne Dunning to create a large scale inflatable opera, BirthDeathBreath which debuted at the Elmhurst Art Museum and opens at the Armory in Pasadena February 17th 2018. She has completed 7 short animations to date and is producing painting and animation concurrently at this time.

Christiansen received a BA from Grinnell College, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MSW from Loyola University. In her spare time she is a psychotherapist in private practice focusing on individuals and couples.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?

The state of the world and a polarity duel between the part of me that feels powerless and the part that wants to take action constantly

Sukka Siddhi | 2017 oil on plaster | 40″ x 24” | © Diane Christiansen

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?

The sea of faces and posters and spirit at the last Women’s March on January 20th.

Studio shot, 2018 with paintings on paper | © Diane Christiansen

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

An inflatable opera which is going to LA next week after having been debuted here at the Elmhurst Art Museum in 2016.

Birth Death Breath, 2016, Diane Christiansen and Jeanne Dunning from Jeanne Dunning on Vimeo.

4. If you could add anyone alive or dead to your team, who would it be?

Pema Chodron at a younger age

The_Narrow_Way_Leads_© Diane_Christiansen
The Narrow Way Leads | 2018 gouache, acrylic and ink on paper | 45″ x 55” | © Diane Christiansen

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?

My cup Freaketh Over or “I’m sorry and you’re welcome”


Familiar from Joel Benjamin on Vimeo.

Clods Letters to Self | 2015 oil on plaster, hanging two sided painting | 11″ x 7” | © Diane Christiansen
Dakinis | 2015 | spray paint and gouache on paper | 17×11” | © Diane Christiansen
Thumb, MY | 2018 | acrylic and gouache and ink on paper | 55″ x 14” | © Diane Christiansen