Category: Painting

Martyr reworked

March 22, 2011

The original version of this painting dates to 2006 and was exhibited at the Parts of the Whole exhibition at the Conrad Wilde Galley in 2007.

Martyr
Collage and acrylic on canvas
16″ x 20″
2006

A couple of years after it returned from Conrad-Wilde, I decided to rework it and added another layer.

Martyr
Collage and acrylic on canvas
16″ x 20″
reworked 2009

GLAAD OUTAuction NYC 2010

November 8, 2010

My painting Deluged will be included in the GLAAD OUTAuction NYC 2010.

Deluged (SOLD)
Acrylic and collage on canvas
24″ x 18″
2008

OUTAuction 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010
5:00 – 9:30 pm
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

“GLAAD’s Board of Directors, Honorary Committee and Arts Advisory Committee and this year’s Planning Committee invite you to join us for OUTAuction NYC – our ninth annual art event to celebrate established and emerging artists, GLAAD’s Top 100 Artists of 2010.

Since 2002, GLAAD has produced this annual fundraising art event, OUTAuction, part glamorous cocktail party and part art auction – all to benefit GLAAD’s work to amplify the voices of the LGBT community.

Bid on 100 unique works of art. Previous works of art include Pablo Picasso, Herb Ritts, Steven Klein, Ryan McGinness, Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall, Ross Bleckner, Patrick McMullan, Annie Leibovitz, Karim Rashid, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Max, Rosie O’Donnell, and many others.”

Some photos of the event:

Detained

May 6, 2010

Detained
Acrylic and collage on canvas
20″ x 16″
2007

SOLD in the GLAAD OUTAuction NYC 2009, November 15, 2009.

Exhibited at the Parts of the Whole exhibition at the Conrad Wilde Galley, October 6-27, 2007.

From the Tucson Weekly, published October 4th, 2007:

“Parts of the Whole, a show of collage and assemblage opening this Saturday during The Big Picture, a free gala evening of multiple receptions sponsored by the Central Tucson Gallery Association… Of all the Parters, New Yorker Greg Stephens sticks closest to painting, but look closely, and you’ll see printed pictures glued in between layers of bumpy, rusty-colored acrylics. “Detained” has a sensuous St. Sebastian pushing at the rafters that rein him in, and nearby, a pair of 1950s gents in crewcuts.”

The image of Sebastian was appropriated from a painting by Jusepe de Ribera. The “gents in crewcuts” are from a Chinese language booklet of Biblical stories. Images from that booklet also appear in other works of mine, like the endpaper of Our beginnings never know our ends.

Six Sebastians

May 5, 2010

The paintings presented here are an outgrowth from my series, “The Long War,” a reaction to the so-called “war on terror” and the culture wars that polarize our nation and world.

In the daily glut of visual information, certain images have an uncanny symbolic resonance. They are amenable to subtext, remixing and reinterpretation.

The Martyr. The Prisoner. The Other. The Missing.

The sources for these archetypes could be Internet newsfeeds as easily as tarot cards, comic books or the Old Masters. I bind these fragments together with a painted surface that is informed as much by the legacy of Abstract Expressionism as the immediacy of my urban surroundings.

My working process has always been more intuitive than premeditated. My preferred approach to narrative is to leave room for the viewer to overlay their own experience onto a painting. It is the creation of a conversation rather than a monologue.

Ascension
Acrylic and collage on canvas
28″ x 22″
2006
SOLD – Donated to BKLYN:111 (a BAG Fund fundraiser at the Brooklyn Artists Gym)

Deluged
Acrylic and collage on canvas
24″ x 18″
SOLD in the GLAAD OUTAuction NYC 2010, November 21, 2010.

Detained
Acrylic and collage on canvas
20″ x 16″
2007

SOLD in the GLAAD OUTAuction NYC 2009, November 15, 2009.

Narcissus
Acrylic and collage on canvas
20″ x 16″
2009?

Questioning
Acrylic, collage and block print on canvas
20″ x 16″
2009

Snare
Acrylic and collage on canvas
20″ x 16″
2008

Please-!

January 11, 2010

Please-!
Acrylic and collage on canvas
28″ x 22″
2010

(detail)

New Painting in Progress

December 21, 2009

Here are a couple of photos of one of my new – thus far untitled – paintings in progress.

I’m not sure if it is done yet, but I like where it’s going. I’ll let this one sit until Phase 3  – if there is to be one – makes itself known.

Updated March 8, 2010: Phase 3

After working on this other painting, I decided that the surface seemed too thin or weak, and I worked on this painting once more. I think the palette in this iteration is much richer.

From Black Site to Questioning

December 11, 2009

Here are two photos of a recently completed painting in the ongoing Sebastian Series.

Phase 1 – 2007 – “Black Site”

Acrylic and collage on canvas
20″ x 16″
2007

Phase 2 – November 2009 – “Questioning”

Acrylic, collage and block print on canvas
20″ x 16″
2009

A long and winding road that may not yet be over

December 1, 2009

Here is a painting that has gone through quite a few re-workings.

Phase 1 – A first layer of old journal pages is laid down, and some earthy-colored shapes are added.

Phase 2 – New collage layers are added in the attempt to create an entry point, a new center of focus. The figure, arguably the previous focal point, recedes into background. Additional paint obscures large portions of the journal text.

Phase 3 – The main focal point of the previous version is largely obliterated, and new text added from a different source.  The figure is further obscured by the addition of the kouros image on the right. The painting becomes increasingly dark and murky, and I set it aside.

Phase 4 – After moving to a new studio, I do a radical re-working of the picture with major changes to the palette and the submersion of much of the previous version. A few collage elements from Phase 2, as well as the text and kouros from Phase 3 remain.

Phase 5 -  I toned down the high-keyed palette and quieted the overall composition with large areas of texture and more subdued colors. All of the original journal text has now been completely covered. Nothing, in any real sense, remains of the first phase.

Is it done? I’m not sure, but I have once again set it aside, and it feels more done than at any another point since the first one. I admit I kind of miss the embryonic form, but I like where it is now. The current working title is Specimen.

New Works

April 8, 2008

Here are three recent paintings, completed since the beginning of the year. Well, at least I think they’re complete. They feel complete but they are also still in that lingering phase, and they all need to be titled.

The first painting below currently has the working title of Collaborator. Previously it was called Captive (2). I’m not completely sold on either title yet. I think I need to get a better photo of it, but I’m very happy with the outcome of this painting. (Note 04-14-2008: new photo taken, the title is growing on me.)

The second painting is another in the series of St. Sebastian themed works. It has the working title of Deluged, but that’s not really working for me. Other titles under consideration include The Lonely Age, Darling Whore, and The Summing Up. Those are derived from chapter titles in the collaged table of contents from the book The Homosexual Generation. Another chapter from this ridiculous diatribe is called “The Wave of the Future,” which probably informed the addition of the wave shape at the bottom of he painting, as well as the current (non)working title.

Finally we have another Sebastian painting. This one is currently just Untitled. Someday the right title will fall into place.

The Hand That Takes

December 19, 2007

Sometimes paintings take several years and multiple iterations to find their final form, and sometimes they come together very quickly. The Hand That Takes is one of the latter.

If you break the painting down into its component parts, you could say there was a long gestation period. I took the photograph that appears in the middle of the painting in 1989. The hand on the left is a photocopy, enlarged over and over again from an image of a neoclassical sculpture, and dates to around the same time.

The painting itself was executed in 2005, and if memory serves, I completed it in one or two short sessions. A good friend (who is now the owner of the painting) came by my studio while it was still sitting on the easel. It was dry, but I was pondering what else might need to be done to it.

“It’s finished,” he said. “Resist the urge to go in and tweak it,” he added, knowing full well how sometimes my intended minor adjustments become major changes.

I took the canvas off the easel and agreed to set it aside. I let it sit where I could see it and moved on to another painting. A few weeks later I came to agree that he was right.

The Hand That Takes
Acrylic, photograph and collage on canvas
22″ x 28″
2005
SOLD