Chris Garofalo grew up in Springfield, Illinois, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana, and has been living in Chicago since 1980. After four years of printmaking and with ten years of graphic design under her belt, she was introduced to clay. It quickly became clear this was where she belonged. She is also a gardening fiend, finding the two things very similar, especially in smell (the clay and the dirt) and the condition in which both activities leave her hands. It was the garden that inspired her first sculptures in clay, watching the sprouts come up in the spring as points, some green or red, fat, striped or shiny, uncurling, splitting, and turning into something else.
By applying the principle properties of development, and by ignoring genetic, behavioral, environmental, social and mating restrictions while combining the essence of all five Kingdoms of Life, a kind of re-imagined evolutionary history of our planet emerges, including forms at once recognizable and unidentifiable.
Garofalo has been exhibiting her sculptures since 1991. Recent exhibitions include a highly acclaimed installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory in 2005, the group exhibition La Carte d’Après Nature curated by Thomas Demand and exhibited at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2010) and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2011), the group exhibition No Rules: Contemporary Clay at Elmhurst Art Museum and recent solo exhibitions at Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois (2010), Muskegon Museum of Art, in Michigan (2009) and Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Illinois (2009). In 2007 she received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter and Sculptor Grant Award. Garofalo is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Illinois.