Christian Holstad was born in Anaheim, California. He received his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1994. He lives at present in Brooklyn, New York City.
Holstad has shown work internationally in exhibitions including Greater New York 2005 at P.S. 1 in New York, the 2004 Whitney Biennial in New York, Beautiful Lies You Could Live In at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London, Domestic Porn at the Foksal Foundation Gallery in Warsaw and The New Gothic at Cokkie Snoei in Rotterdam.
His first solo exhibition in Europe was curated by Daniel Schmidt in Cologne in 2003. In 2006 he had his first museum solo exhibition "Turns of Endearment" at the Museum of Contemporay Art, Miami. He is represented by Daniel Reich in New York and Galleria Massimo De Carlo in Milan.
In an Artforum review of a 2006 solo exhibition, critic Christopher Bollen wrote that "Holstad's artistic career has often centered on the public spectacle and campy aestheticizing of sexual dissonance ... [In this show], Holstad seemed to ask whether s/m codes of thirty years ago have lost their deviant power. More provocatively, he asked what happened to the spiritual and physical liberation once accessed through these forms."
Referring both to the mainstream and subculture, Holstad's collages often depict erotic couplings of gay men whose bodies are composed of decorative patterns and textures extracted from magazines ranging from high-end fashion and lifestyle rags to small-press porn publications.
His work is included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Astrup Fearnley Museeet for Moderne Kunst in Oslo, Norway.