Christopher “Khalifah” Christensen

Artist Statement

I don't have any one type of artwork I make. I never know when or what will be my inspiration at any time. With this in mind, inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time; and if it is a visual object it will tell me what form it should take. 

My primary mediums are watercolor, block printing, and acrylic; though at times it comes out as lyrics and poetry. I am a "free form" artist who goes with "what feels right " as opposed to being a student of art history. My art comes from a therapeutic need to express myself and connect with others.

Incarceration has been a double edged sword in that it has been both a source of pain and isolation, while also giving me time to heal deep seeded wounds of childhood traumas. These strong emotional states have given me a lot of material to work with over the years.

My crowning artistic achievement (in my eyes) was to have my hand-written, hand-bound, hand-illustrated book “Visions of A Traveler” (an autobiographical collection of original lyrics, poetry, and esoteric charts) shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. To have it set out on a pedestal where people could look and read it felt like a great accomplishment. Art is therapy for me and almost always is a reflection of what makes me ME. It is also a way for me to introduce myself to others and hopefully make them feel something.

Artist Bio

Christopher “Khalifah” Christensen was born in San Francisco and raised all over Northern California and Nevada. He would go to fourteen different schools in eleven different towns/cities by the time he was a 17 year-old with a GED. Two years later he would be on his way to prison. 

Khalifah’s work was recently included in Work Assignments: Forced Prison Labor in the Land of the Free, Antioch (2024).

Contact Information

Christopher Christensen (CDCR# K-07513)

1 Main Street San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974

email via:

California | SQSP

Artwork Detail: Manifesto, C.K. Gerhartsreiter AKA TAFKA Clark Rockefeller, 2022