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Chris Osburn

Founder of London based blog Tiki Chris

American expatriate living in London Chris Osburn has created his own Lifestyle blog in 2006 called TikiChris. In Tikichris you will find information about travels, culture and lifestyle and also some articles about photography his other passion. Artsper wanted to know more.

{ARTSPER} Could you tell us a little about yourself?
{CHRIS OSBURN} I’m an American expat living in London and working as writer and photographer. I’m originally from a small town in the American Deep South. I’ve been in London (off and on) for over a decade. Most of my work is about travel, food and having fun … but I’ve done some heavy hitting stuff here and there. Art is an important topic for me and something I reckon I’ve stop writing about or photographing.

{A} Why did you start writing a blog?
{C}When I moved back to London in 2006, I was commissioned to write a short lived column about “life as an American abroad” for a small community newspaper back in the States. The newspaper was print only and it would take several weeks before publishing my stories. So, I started publishing them myself via a blogging platform. Blogging was a new medium at the time (to me anyway). I loved it instantly for the immediacy, for the potential of reaching a vast audience from anywhere as long as I was online, and for the speed at which I could share my thoughts and photography with the world. Those factors might not sound like such a big deal anymore, but not so long ago they started a revolution.

{A} Do you think that your readers are interested in art? Usually what kind of information do they expect from you?
{C}Absolutely. I use my blog to highlight and celebrate things that excite me. I always report with a critical eye, but when I really like something I write about it with loads of enthusiasm. I think people who regularly read my blog appreciate that sort of spirit. Most of my readers are Central Londoners. One of the main reasons they visit my site is to look for tips on how to spend their money wisely to make the most of their free time – whether that’s considering going on a luxury safari in South Africa, trying to find the best coffee in Shoreditch, or wanting to check out a recently opened exhibition.

{A} What do you think about Artsper and the online art market?
{C}Brilliant idea. I guess there are limitations to how art can be sold online but Artsper seems like an ideal outlet, for 2D art anyway. And, similar to what I was saying about blogging and its immediacy, Artsper is an awesome interface for artists and fans to connect.

{A} What is London’s 2015 cultural event you are excited about?
{C}There’s an exhibition at Courtauld Gallery (at Somerset House) opening at the end of this month that will, for the first time, reconstruct a whole Goya album of sketches in its original sequence. I’m really keen to see it!

{A} As an American expatriate, why do you think London is so appealing?
{C}Not sure how much of this has to be with being American, but London is a dynamic city. As important as London is historically, it is just as much so currently. I reckon people could have said the same thing about this place in the distant past and that they most likely will be able to in the distant future. Also, I love to travel (and am doing more and more of it for work); London is an excellent hub for getting just about anywhere else on the planet as expressly and directly as possible.

{A} If you didn’t live in London where would you like to live and why?
{C}I love it here and have lived in London longer than anywhere else as an adult. But, I am open to trying somewhere new. I enjoy spending time in New Orleans, Hawaii, Istanbul, Bologna, Portugal … ( I really could carry on with an almost endless string of places I love).

{A} You are a blogger but you are also a photographer I read, could you tell us a little about your work?
{C}For me, being a blogger and a photographer are largely inseparable. Street photography is a passion of mine, and everyday since 2006 I’ve posted a “London Daily Photo” on my blog. In general, it’s extremely rare that I publish anything written on my blog that isn’t accompanied by my own photography. I do a good bit of work as a paid photographer. I’m best at reportage. Considerably more opportunities to write come my way these days, but I photography is my first love. I would never want to give it up.

{A} Who are your favorite artists at the moment?
{C}I’m just back from a press preview at the newly re-opened Whitworth in Manchester, where the feature exhibition, a solo show of work by Cornelia Parker really did it for me. Seeing her Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View blew me away. How she is able to identify and demonstrate the power of seemingly ordinary and mundane objects inspires me to no end.

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