lk stephenson
The Kindness of StrangersGreen GlovesFloodObservationsWhite FaceShadowTugIncidentsIncidents II: Sumo6th Rochester Biennial, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY, July 13 - September 21, 20146th Rochester Biennial, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY, July 13 - September 21, 20146th Rochester Biennial, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY, July 13 - September 21, 20146th Rochester Biennial, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY, July 13 - September 21, 20146th Rochester Biennial, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY, July 13 - September 21, 2014
Incidents and Observations
“The absurd does not liberate, it binds.” Albert Camus
The paintings in Incidents and Observations are based on one of my favorite figures from a previous group of work titled The Red Cross Series. The figure with green gloves in the round canvas, “The Kindness of Strangers”, was first seen in the painting “Happy as Kings“. That green-gloved figure inspired these scenarios that comment on the absurdity of reality and the unexpected events of daily life. Where the Red Cross Series was based on our ability to overcome unexplainable tragedy and the loss of my family home in Hurricane Katrina, this series is based on random observations and situations of everyday life. I use odd-looking figures in simple but unexplained surroundings in order to highlight the illogical aspects of human existence and the profound strangeness of life.

The paintings suggest a narrative but never fully explain what is going on. Just as in life, conclusions are never clear, we must play it out; and each viewer brings their own experience to the circumstances. Although I attempt to comment on the ordinariness of everyday life, all is not what it seems at first glance. I use recognizable elements in order to create a sense of the familiar and the possibility of the real but purposely juxtapose disparate images to destabilize typical visual habits and disrupt a traditional reading of the narratives.

Stylistically my paintings can be very tightly rendered or very gestural within a body of work or even within a single work. The application of paint and the surface quality are always an important element in the work.
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