midnight rainbow: Michael E. Stephen
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1, 7-10 pm
Exhibition: October 1 – 30, 2016
Gallery Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 12-5pm or by appointment
Michael E. Stephen’s objects and arrangements, composed from appropriated and casted materials, conjure the complex visual experience of subcultures from the 1970s-1990s. Stephen’s selectively scavenged objects (an auctioned piece of the moon; VHS tapes from estate sales) are sourced for their ritualistic or cult potential, and at times transformed alchemically, to create new autonomous relics. Muted by nostalgia, these emblematic artifacts provoke a meditation on the objects’ latent symbolism and associative content. Stephen’s works seek an embodied connection with the past and construct an intimate archive of the VHS era. Stephen’s minimally aesthetic forms display his mystic reverence for psychotronic groupings, object oriented ontologies, and obsolescent territories.
Michael E. Stephen is an Austin, TX based artist working in the expanded fields of sculpture and video. He received his BFA in Sculpture at the University of Texas at Tyler in 2009 and his MFA in Sculpture/Studio Arts at the University of Oregon in 2013. His work has been exhibited in various national and international venues including Jan Brandt Gallery in Bloomington, IL; Box13 Art Space in Houston, TX; Scope Art in Miami, FL; Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts in Los Angeles, CA; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR; C3:Initiative in Portland, OR; Peoria Art Guild in Peoria, IL; Kino Kino Center for Art and Film in Sandnes, Norway; LivinGallery in Lecce, Italy and currently has an upcoming solo show in Springfield, IL in late October.