Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Russell Stephenson in Plumage-TX magazine April 2015

The new April 2015 edition of Plumage-TX

 magazine features an article about 

San Antonio artist, Russell Stephenson. 

Russell's article is an interview based 

conversation around his new artist statement

 for a new body of work.

See the edition here:

Read online at:

or click the images to read the article online.




A Conversation with Russell Stephenson

-Gabriel Diego Delgado

San Antonio based artist, Russell Stephenson has five galleries in Texas that represent his artwork.  Each gallery exhibits a different style or aesthetic; often dictated by the buying market of regional clientele.  In Boerne, Texas, the J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art showcase his “Texas Panoramic” series; a body of work that is often referred to as abstract landscapes.  However, another series of paintings is gaining traction with collectors – the “Dreamachine” series.  A body of work that is based off the grid pattern, Russell explores more of the psychedelic nature of overlapping geography.

An optical stimulation device developed by Brion Gysin termed the ‘Dreamachine’ originally inspired my grid-based work. This device utilizes the physical attributes of a grid pattern that activates sensory hallucinations in your retina while conscious. In each of the rectangles in my work I explore the visual sensory hallucinations. Each work is comprised of several rows and different organizations of the rectangular modules that make up the work, allowing me to explore multiple facets of individual visuals collectively creating a stimulating pattern in and of itself. Over time, and exploration and contemplation of the grid, I discovered many other associations with the use of the grid in everyday life.

Man-made objects and systems are all grid-based which led me to conceptually being able to explore an unlimited wealth of resources in my personal research as to this ‘organizing of and compartmentalizing’ of information. From urban development plans, pixel based images, cultural symbolism, and even division of farmland, I have been able to rearrange and explore many different uses of the grid-system, and also explore variations of overall color schemes, color uses, anomalies, and optical interactions within our visual spectrum.

I treat each fragment of my grid-based work like an individual piece of art so that I can collectively explore many different ideas at once within a single piece. The patterns are constantly changing based on new inspirations and discoveries. At times, the modular system transitions over into other aspects of my work that are more abstract landscape-based work. This complexity only provides more ideas to be explored and combined with new techniques and compositions.

The nature of the ‘Dreamachine’ is, the more you explore your mind within the device, the more you discover about the optical phenomenon that occurs in the mind’s eye. The nature of the artwork itself mimics this process by bringing the optical stimulations out of the workings of the mind, and into a visual reality represented with physical materials and visual stimuli.

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