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Stephanie Chambers

Posted by Kate Singleton on

Where are you from and were do you currently live?

I'm originally from Garden City, New York (Long Island) and currently live in Brooklyn, New York, but I've spent the past few months making art and living in San Francisco, CA. 

In an alternate life you would live in {blank} and work as a {blank}.

Melbourne, Australia and painter.

Tell us about the work in this show. 

All the paintings were made in San Francisco during a break from New York. I worked out of The Blue Studio in The Mission District and spent my days painting and walking  around in the Sun. I've been to SF many times before, but never to make art. I was surprised at how much the lightness of being out there permeated my work.  The animals in the paintings are anthropomorphic in the sense that they represent universal human situations, including conflict and opportunity. I'd like each painting to tell a story and I'm drawn to animals in particular because I think they're easier to work with narratively. We don't have socially constructed ideas about what makes a fox or a butterfly truly beautiful or flawless, so I'm free to represent my subjects in an ageless and unbiased manner.
The patterns in the background often represent internal emotional states that shape and drive the narratives. Human thought patterns can be so frustratingly repetitive, and I wanted to show that visually.  

Are the animals in your work (butterfies, foxes, bats, owls) chosen for aesthetic or symbolic purposes (or neither)?

They're chosen for both. As humans on this planet, we encounter and absorb so many stories and symbols about specific animals, and I like to play with these notions in my artwork. Even if the animals chosen symbolically are not traditionally considered beautiful, I try to represent them as beautiful aesthetically. I'm interested in making beautiful things. The butterflies often represent opportunity and change.

What's something people are often surprised to discover about you?

I was an extra on ten episodes of people's court 

You have a pretty unique style that is an amalgamation of figurative, cartoony and graphic elements. How are these visual frameworks connected in your mind?

For me, painting and the stories I tell are like the way people perceive memories. Some images in a memory are clear and rich with detail, while other aspects of that same memory may be fuzzy visually, just colors or shapes. Not everything is equally defined visually in a memory. The world in which these animals live is similarly fluid; a little like sounds you hear in the distance, but can't identify the source. They live at the visual periphery of my mind 

Name 5 things that inspire you. 

Serendipity
Flowers
Birds
Laughter
Active people and cities. 

What's your most and least favorite things about being an artist?

Favorite: being a channel for whatever wants to come out of you
Least favorite: totally disagreeing with whatever does! 

What can't you live without?

Coconut water and Pomeranians.

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