Steve Carver – Mixed Messages

January 19, 2011 - February 13, 2011

The Gallery at FOUND is pleased to welcome a new exhibition by Steve Carver. MIXED MESSAGES opens on January 19th and will run through February 13th. Please join us for a Third-Thursday opening reception from 5-7pm on January 20th. Come meet the artist and enjoy light refreshments and delicious treats.
Steve Carver was born and raised in Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Tulsa. He began his career as a graphic designer and illustrator in 1975, and moved to Los Angeles later that year. After working in California for a decade, he relocated to upstate New York, where he currently resides.

As a graphic artist, his clients have included The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and many others. His commercial work has been seen at the Society of Illustrators (NY and LA,) and in the American Illustration, Graphis, Communication Arts, and PRINT art annuals.

In 2009, he committed to focus on painting, and set about to create pictures that, while very different in content from his commercial work, often utilize the visual language of the designer. His work has been shown at Fowler-Mills Galleries in Santa Monica, CA, State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY, Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University and The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Here’s what Steve has to say about his work: As a graphic designer for many years, I was a storyteller, but the stories I told were not entirely my own, and there was the necessity of making the message clear and unambiguous. With my paintings, I’m still telling a story but the person viewing the picture is an equal partner in the telling. I have the luxury of allowing others to fill-in-the-blanks and determine for themselves what to take away from the experience. Is the picture an inside joke? Erotica? Surrealism? Or perhaps exactly what it seems to be “about”?

I’m inspired by a love of typography, folk art, modernism, classic American film, and mid-20th century motor racing iconography. The paintings employ humor, contradiction, and a sense of mystery as well. My influences are diverse: Duchamp and Man Ray, Charles Demuth, Warhol and Lichtenstein; the designers Paul Rand and Paula Scher, as well as hundreds of anonymous sign and banner painters.

In looking at my work, the phrase that might come to mind is “precision accidents,” because the process of creating it is a combination of careful planning and then destruction, which carries with it a high degree of risk.

I strive for compositions with precisely executed elements whether they are typographic or surface treatments or even pictorial. But then, to express the folly of trying to achieve “perfection,” I go about eliminating much of what I’ve done previously, by sandpaper, steel wool, tools; whatever is at hand. It is a bit of a thrill to take something you’ve worked so carefully on, and then intentionally remove enough of what has been done to make it interesting; you never know if you’ve gone too far until you have. I’ve been within inches of finishing a picture, only to have to begin again, because the line had been crossed. It makes finishing each picture a new adventure.

FOUND will remain open during the artist’s reception so you can see the show and browse through 7,000 square feet of great antique and vintage finds!

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