Art by Steven Epstein – AKA S.I.E.
Artist’s Bio and Statement
Steven Epstein – S.I.E.
My influences start with Modern Art, that is I mean Impressionism and afterwards, Expressionism, Film Noir and Social Realism. I particularly appreciate the masters of the horror and absurdity of the 20th century; Picasso and Bacon; the spiritual isolation of Hopper and van Gogh.
I paint what I see feel or imagine, often trying to combine all options. My motivations are often based on contradictory impulses leading to an indefinite conclusion rather than trying for a vision or ideal which is out of reach. I like to use heightened impressions of ordinary surroundings and circumstances and try to find atmosphere and mood in the commonplace. My paintings are places or events that I choose to dwell in for a while. I often use prints of bad digital photographs as reference points or maps that help me get to those places. I work mostly in acrylics on canvas, or hardboard when I want to get “physical” with a painting. Lately I’ve been experimenting
with mixed media adding collage elements and using oil pastels on my acrylic paintings. When I paint Jazz or the Blues are usually playing in the background.
I consider myself a semi-educated artist in that I’ve taken classes at places like the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan but don’t have any degrees in art and try to learn through working. To me painting is often an adventure in a search for meaning, a record of a discourse between what’s going on inside of me and what’s going on outside of me.
I was selected for a solo show at the Monmouth Museum for their 2014 Emerging Artist Series. I’ve been part of dual artist shows at the Hamilton Gallery in 2016(Road Work) and 2019(Midnight Mercury). While working as an x-ray technician I had
paintings on 7 covers of the trade magazine “Radiologic Technology” after being a winner in their cover contest.
A lot of more recent work was based on impressions from my long drives home from work going North up route 1 in New Jersey. My pressures and frustrations from
the work day would dissolve into the colors of night as I decompressed. The neon lights against the dark streets, the penumbra of the traffic lights, the darkened geometries and odd shadows from the artificial light on the strip malls that I passed with their lit up window displays. The reflections on a wet night. I like the feeling of the boundaries dissolving between the real and the abstract. I try to put some of that magic atmosphere, mystery and mood in my paintings.