Reading

Steven Pearson: Heroes and Villains at SubBasement Studios

Previous Story

Cara Ober: ‘i am who i pretend to be’ [...]

Next Story

Denee BarrPhotos Part 2: A Mini-Retrospective 1999-2006

Photobucket

PLEASE RSVP BY March 5, 2008
CALL 410 659 6950 or email to: rsvp@subbasementartiststudios.com
Opening Reception: SATURDAY March 8, 2008 6-8 pm

Steven Pearson’s newest body of work started in July of 2007, is still influenced by the following story:

Shuzan (shou-shan 926-992) once held up his shippe* to an assembly of his disciples and declared: Call this a shippe and you assert; call it not a shippe and you negate. Now do not assert nor negate, and what would you call it? Speak! Speak! One of the disciples came out of the ranks, took the shippe away from the master, and breaking it in two, exclaimed, What is this? – D.T. Suzuki, Introduction to Zen Buddhism.

Photobucket

Steve is working within the restrictions of birch plywood, trying not to alter the pattern of the grain, but instead use color to activate and alter the perceived composition of the wood grain, by using harmonies and contrasts to minimize and accentuate particular areas. After the first few he noticed he was repeatedly combining a saturated red and a saturated blue to clarify the most distinct forms found in the wood grain. At the time, he was watching Superman Returns on DVD. This led him to start considering the Red and Blue forms as Heroes, and after some research he learned that the majority of Superman’s enemies are often clad in Purple and Green. Using these simple color combinations to identify the more striking shapes found within the wood grain encouraged him to invent implied narratives in each panel.

To keep the colors from becoming too predictable he had started using 1980’s Superman comic book covers as the source of palettes. He chose the 80’s, the time of his teenage years and Military Service, because Good and Evil were still being described to us in Black and White. The Cold War was still in progress, and we had a clearly defined enemy. Comics were drawn and written in those terms as well, and the colors were saturated and vibrant.

As he developed these ideas further, the comics of the 1990’s and 2000’s became sources of color palettes. At that time in comics, Good and Evil becomes more nebulous, often existing in a gray area in between, and the colors become more deep and neutral.

Pearson is also influenced by the overall composition of the comic book page, and has recently started to build structures with multiple sheets of plywood in varying shapes and sizes, changing the direction of the grain from panel to panel. He’s intrigued by how comic artists use the size and shape of each panel to depict time and space, to speed through time, or linger on a moment, and you can see in his upcoming One Man exhibit at Subbasement Artist Studios, how such a device could be interesting to use in non-objective painting.

Visit http://www.subbasementartiststudios.com/index.html for location
Visit www.srpearson.com to see a sample of work

Related Stories
Dispatches from Untitled Art Fair and NADA at Miami Art Week 2021

The term horror vacui, or “fear of the vacuum,” remained stuck in my head… could this new maximalism be a reflection of the claustrophobia of lockdown life and fear of loss?

At the Katzen Arts Center, Robles-Gordon's exhibition conveys a first-person account of the intimacies of movement

In Robles-Gordon’s hands, mistaking the map means we must contend with the entanglements of colonialism and empire—and the spiritual resonance of it all—in the wake of violence. 

Photo Essay Documenting a Miami Art Fair Performance courtesy of de boer

Monsieur Zohore’s performance, entitled Rush, casts a critical lens on the lineage of ‘bro culture’ linking lascivious behavior to so-called heteronormative practices often tied to fraternal Greek stereotypes.

The best weekly art openings, events, and calls for entry happening in Baltimore and surrounding areas.

The Guardians at The Peale, Rapid Lemon Productions' at Motor House, BMA hosts Monica Ikegwu and Tawny Chatmon in conversation with Myrtis Bedolla, MAP's UNDER $500, Current Space Art Market, Station North Holiday Market, Chris Bathgate at Connect+Collect, A Wake at Area 405