Toronto-based artist Christopher Estridge passed away Feb 22. A message from local philanthropist Salah Bachir:
"On February 22nd, artist and ‘Bon Vivant’ Christopher Estridge passed away in Brazil, surrounded by lifelong partner John Bailey and closest friend and creative collaborator, Bryan Van Dusen.
Christopher lived larger than life, proudly and to the fullest each day, deeply touching the lives of all those who met him. He was a fashion icon with friends in New York, Toronto and all over the world. Born in New York City in 1951, Christopher attended various art colleges in the area, including the Parsons School of Design. He had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1975, followed by shows in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, South Beach and Toronto. His artwork hangs in homes and offices all over the globe. Over the years, he developed a signature style characterized by strong abstract compositions supported by a bold use of dynamic colours.
In the 1990s he began to call Toronto home. It was there that he became involved in producing music, fashion, jewellery and home decor within a project called Ghetto Panda, which he co-created with Bryan Van Dusen. This offshoot of Christopher’s creativity surprised no one as the artist’s personal style — snakeskin suits, animal prints, shimmering metallic and of course, fur — was a mainstay of Toronto’s social scene.
With a personality as bold and magnetic as his art, Christopher was a positive energy in the lives of anyone fortunate enough to call him a friend.
A celebration of his amazing life will be held in Toronto in April.”
For more on Estridge’s work, see his website: christopherestridge.com.