Steven Epstein-“Drive by Mannequins” acrylic on canvas

Steven Epstein-“Drive by Mannequins” acrylic on canvas


I paint what I see, feel or imagine. Often trying to combine all options.

On my long drives home at night going North up Route 1 I gradually decompress from the workday frustrations and pressures, letting go, feeling them dissolve into the colors of night. 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 closed strip mall buildings I pass. The reflections on a wet night. The roadscape becomes a world with another dimension; boundaries dissolving between the real and the abstract, the solid and the suggested.  I try and put some of that magic in my paintings. Atmosphere, mystery, mood, possibility.

My paintings are places or events I choose to dwell in for awhile.I often use bad digital photos as a reference or map that helps me get to that place.

They are often a series of contradictory impulses leading to an indefinite conclusion rather than an ideal or vision which is frustratingly out of reach. I like to use heightened impressions of ordinary surroundings finding atmosphere and mood in the commonplace.

I work mostly in acrylics, either on canvas or hardboard.   When I want to get “physical” with a painting, have my strokes and scrapings and marks add to the texture of the image or build thick areas of paint I like to use hardboard.

My influences start with Modern Art. Impressionism and after.  Expressionism and film noir. Social Realism. The masters of the horror and absurdity of the 20th century; Picasso and Bacon. The spiritual isolation of Hopper and Van Gogh. Jazz, for it’s moods without words; melodies and improvisations. The Blues for the ecstasy of expressing the pain of existence in an often indifferent world that just keeps going on.


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Posted on

August 10, 2016