BRIAN KEITH STEPHENS b. 1973 United States

How to capture the past, present and future at the same time; this is at the center of my work as an artist and as a father, son, friend and lover. As we navigating our daily lives, we must face thoughts, anxieties, joys and emotions from all three of these tenses, and often at the same time. Seemingly opposite emotions — lust, hatred, desire, love, pride, inhibition — exists simultaneously between these moments in time. For some of us, some emotions out weigh others, grabbing our attention and transfixing our minds, sometimes taking over the way we live and breath. For myself, the emotions that occupy my mind and capture my energy are that of love, desire, and the fear of hurt or disappointment. And so, at the center of my work are these forceful emotions–they guide my hand to paint and my heart and mind to live. My work explores the emotions that guide us, that pull us and push us and ultimately define who we are, in relation to others and to ourselves.

Lately, what I have been most interested in capturing is how alternative perceptions of ones identity can affect these daily emotions. My work speaks to this in two mediums: oil paintings and collage/installation. With the first medium, I do this primarily through mystical imagery juxtaposed with figurative technique. I am using oil paints to create this mystical alter-reality where the human is the animal and the animal is the human.

I am captivated by the power of my own emotions, the playful desires and the sometimes dangerous energy that is the essence of the human spirit. We love, we hurt, we laugh and we cry — it’s this fantastic and sometimes frightful spectrum. The ‘contemporary soldier’, a motif represented in my work through oil on canvas, is my own conception of this power we have to love and to hurt, to build and to break. For me the contemporary soldier is child freed from the gaze of the parent or society, it is the spirit, freed. But also faced with the challenge of the future, even as it moves freely from its past.

At the center of my work and life are these fascinations with myth, the spectrum of human passion, our kinship to the spirit of the wild animal, and challenge of balancing the real with the fanciful. We must balance all of this while also navigating the spectrum of time, the web of past, present and future. My art has been and continues to be my outlet for exploring these themes and conjuring up new ones.


EDUCATION
2004 MFA, City College of New York, New York
1998 BFA, Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, Connecticut

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 party animals, M Fine Arts, Boston
2016 I believe in miracles, Sirona Fine Art, Florida
2015 My lucky charm, Ludington Gallery, Connecticut
2015 local color”, Cooley Gallery, Connecticut
2015 soulsuckers, Green Marble Cafe, Connecticut
2015 fast cars, Ober gallery, Kent, Connecticut
2014 To Catch the Butterflies, Lyman Allyn Museum, Connecticut
2014 the fox and the pineapple, Sirona Fine Art, Hallandale, Florida
2013 more love, more, more, Hoxie Gallery, Westerly, Rhode Island
2013 rain rain go away, Hoxie Gallery, Westerly, Rhode Island
2013 room #4 love letter, Installation for Bee and Thistle Inn, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2012 missing title, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2012 mixed signals, collaboration Pola Esther, Hygienic Gallery, New London
2012 dance dance dance, Rice Polak Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts
2011 Butterfly kisses, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2011 family fun, collaboration Pola Esther, Lighthouse Gallery, Groton, Connecticut
2010 all the dreams, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York City
2010 map your dream, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2010 glow motion, collaboration Pola Esther, Studio A, New London, Connecticut
2009 farm life, Axelle Fine Arts, New York City
2008 for my brothers and sisters, Axelle Fine Arts, San Francisco
2008 to thoughts we know, Axelle Fine Arts, New York City
2007 i won’t go, Axelle Fine Arts, Boston
2007 time-space, collaboration Adrien Broom, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Connecticut
2006 life i know, Alva Gallery, New London, Connecticut
2006 romantic inclination, House of Culture, Duren, Germany
2006 desires of intellect, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2006 time to know what you want, Axelle Fine Arts, San Francisco, California
2006 the map of misbelieve, Galerie Lutz Rohs, Düren, Germany
2005 in my heart i know, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, New York
2005 hope and innocence within reach, Diana Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2004 for us, Compton-Goethals Gallery, City College of New York, New York
2004 Axelle Fine Arts, San Francisco, California
2004 intermix, Adlon Hotel, Berlin, Germany
2003  Axelle Fine Arts, New York City
2003 new York, Gallerihuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003 Golden Street Gallery, New London, Connecticut
2002 where we shine, Greene Art Gallery, Guilford, Connecticut
2002 Danish Hydraulic Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
2001  Serges Medien, Köln, Germany
2001 Galleri Anne Karrebaek, Copenhagen, Denmark
2001 Haus des Gastes, Uhldingen, Germany
2000 Dresdner Bank, Düren, Germany
2000 Stadtsparkasse, Düren, Germany
2000  St. Laurentius Stift, Waltrop, Germany

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016 Winter selection, Paynter Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2015 Scope NYC 55 Bellechasse Galerie, Paris
2015 Fred Torres Gallery NYC
2015 Local Color, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2014 Scope Maimi 55 Bellechasse Galerie, Paris
2014 Strut, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
2014 Steampunk Alice in Wonderland, Florence Griswold Museum, Connecticut
2014 Animal Heart, Slater Mueum, Norwich, Connecticut
2014 Please don’t stop loving me, Fred Torris Gallery, New York
2013 Sirona, Hallandale, Florida
2013 Ober Gallery, Kent, Connecticut
2013 Slater Museum, Norwich, Connecticut
2013 Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2013 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2013 Gallery 18, Essex, Connecticut
2012 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston
2012 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2011 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco
2011 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2010 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco
2010 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2009 le salon des petits formats, Axelle Fine Arts, New York City
2009 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans
2009 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2008 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans
2008 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2007 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans
2007 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2006 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans
2006 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2005 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, Boston, New Orleans
2005 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2005 the bigger picture, Garvin Gallery, Essex, Connecticut
2004 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, New Orleans
2004 Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia
2003 Axelle Fine Arts, New York City, New Orleans
2003 Galerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2003 Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia
2003 julian, Hygienic Gallery, New London, Connecticut
2003 National Art Club, New York, New York
2002 Gallerihuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
2002 Alexey von Schlippe Gallery, Groton, Connecticut
2002 Wethersfield, Amenia, New York
2002 Galerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2002 all paintings great and small, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2001 three big boys, Stonington Vineyards Gallery, Connecticut
2001 Gallerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2001 all paintings great and small, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut
2001 Greene Art Gallery, Guilford, Connecticut
2001 Core Gallery, New Paltz, New York
2001 france.etats-unis, Galerie GNG, Bordeaux, France
1999 Galerie Gladbach, Gladbach, Germany