Foundation News

Steven Shearer: Ornament is Not a Crime. It is a Crypt

February 26th, 2017

American Suburb X features

Steven Shearer: Ornament is Not a Crime. It is a Crypt

by Brad Feuerhelm

Brad Feuerhelm talks with Steven Shearer about what inspires his work and Shearer’s solo exhibition at The Brant Foundation.

I have been quite lucky to catch up with Steven Shearer to talk a little bit about what inspires his work. The subjects within his drawings in particular examine a few dark currents within the maelstrom of contemporary sociological conditions, namely sub-culture and some themes of victimization. His skill as a draughtsman remind one of the skill and consequence of the academy without the boorish rigor often associated with “classical studies”. The work is to some degree representational and by all means intense in its delineation of superb skill. There are certainly antecedents within the annals of art history-art nouveau through German Expressionism. The work finds a visual style not uncommon to the period of bubbling modernity, but is contextualized in the present now by its thematic intervention. It is refreshing and as Black Phillip has indicated, somehow “Delicious”. Though the blatant themes of occult matters, Satanism, and transgressive taboos are examined in the work, they are not overbearing, kitsch or clichéd. Previously unaware of his work, I find the whole of it engaging and inspiring. The interview with Steven also bears the glib remarks that show the author as comfortable with the absurdity of some of the topics he works with. I would not say he is without humor by any means and this sort of gallows humor is also found within the works that deal with language-the text pieces. They bubble and ooze and make a perfect companion to the figurative works. His current exhibition is on at the Brant Foundation and I hope if one is local that they are lucky enough to see it in person.

Read the full article in American Suburb X here

Steven Shearer Exhibition Page