BRIAN KEITH STEPHENS b. 1973 United States

Photograph of artist Brian Keith StephensHow 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.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018 Sexy Cats and Lazy Lovers, M Fine Arts, Palm Beach, FL
2018 Eggstravaganza, collaboration with Pola Esther, Old Lyme, CT
2017 Run with Me Baby, Hugo Galerie, New York, NY
2017 Party Animals, M Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2016 I Believe in Miracles, Sirona Fine Art, Hallandale, FL
2015 Fast Cars, Ober gallery, Kent, CT
2015 Local Color, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2015 Soulsuckers, Green Marble Cafe, Mystic, CT
2014 Adam and Eve, News from Paradise, Nuance Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2014 The Fox and the Pineapple, Sirona Fine Art, Hallandale, FL
2014 To Catch the Butterfly, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT
2013 More Love, More, More, Hoxie Gallery, Westerly, RI
2013 Rain Rain Go Away, collaboration with Pola Esther, Hoxie Gallery, Westerly, RI
2012 Missing Title, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2012 Mixed Signals, collaboration Pola Esther, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT
2012 Dance Dance Dance, Rice Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2011 Butterfly Kisses, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2011 Family Fun, collaboration Pola Esther, Lighthouse Gallery, Groton, CT
2010 All the Dreams, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Map Your Dreams, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2010 Glow Motion, collaboration Pola Esther, Studio A, New London, CT
2009 Farm Life, Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, NY
2009 This Is the Story, Axelle Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2008 For My Brothers and Sisters, Axelle Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
2008 To Thoughts We Know, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY
2007 I Won’t Go, Axelle Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2007 Time-space, collaboration Adrien Broom, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2006 Life I Know, Alva Gallery, New London, CT
2006 Romantic Inclination, House of Culture, Duren, Germany
2006 Desires of Intellect, Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2006 Time to Know What You Want, Axelle Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
2006 The Map of Misbelieve, Galerie Lutz Rohs, Düren, Germany
2005 In My Heart I Know, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY
2005 Hope and Innocence within Reach, Diana Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2005 Day After Day, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY
2004 For Us, Compton-Goethals Gallery, City College of New York, NY
2004 Intermix, Adlon Hotel, Berlin, Germany
2003 Beautiful Boy, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY
2003 Julian, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT
2003 New York, Gallerihuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003 Works on Paper, Golden Street Gallery, New London, CT
2002 Where We Shine, Greene Art Gallery, Guilford, CT
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

2018 5×5 Project III, Abend Gallery, Denver, CO
2018 Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2018 M Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2018 Summer Collective, Hugo Galerie, New York, NY
2017 Hugo Galerie, New York, NY
2016 Winter Selection, Paynter Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2015 Art Palm Beach Fair, Sirona, FL
2015 Scope Art Fair, Galerie 55 Bellechasse, New York, NY
2015 Bridge of Light, Slater Museum, Norwich, CT
2015 Local Color, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2014 Scope Art Fair, Galerie 55 Bellechasse, Miami, FL
2014 Affordable Art Fair, Galerie 55 Bellechasse, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014 Never Stop Loving Me, Fred Torres Gallery, New York, NY
2014 The Animal Heart, Slater Museum, Norwich, CT
2014 Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
2014 Sirona, Hallandale, FL
2014 Ober Gallery, Kent, CT
2014 Slater Museum, Norwich, CT
2013 Sirona, Hallandale, FL
2013 Ober Gallery, Kent, CT
2013 Slater Museum, Norwich, CT
2013 Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2013 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2013 Gallery 18, Essex, CT
2012 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY and Boston, MA
2012 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2011 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; and San Francisco, CA
2011 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2010 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; and San Francisco, CA
2010 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2009 Le Salon des Petits Formats, Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY
2009 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; and New Orleans, LA
2009 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2008 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; and New Orleans, LA
2008 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2007 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; and New Orleans, LA
2007 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2006 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; and New Orleans, LA
2006 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2005 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY; Boston, MA; and New Orleans, LA
2005 Diane Birdsall Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2005 The Bigger Picture, Garvin Gallery, Essex, CT
2004 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY and New Orleans, LA
2004 Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA
2003 Axelle Fine Arts, New York, NY and New Orleans, LA
2003 Galerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2003 Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA
2003 julian, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT
2003 National Art Club, New York, NY
2002 Gallerihuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
2002 Alexey von Schlippe Gallery, Groton, CT
2002 Wethersfield, Amenia, New York, NY
2002 Galerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2002 All Paintings Great and Small, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2001 Three Big Boys, Stonington Vineyards Gallery, CT
2001 Gallerie de l’Europe, Paris, France
2001 All Paintings Great and Small, Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, CT
2001 Greene Art Gallery, Guilford, CT
2001 Core Gallery, New Paltz, NY
2001 france.etats-unis, Galerie GNG, Bordeaux, France
1999 Galerie Gladbach, Gladbach, Germany

COMMISSIONS

2013 Room #4 Love Letter, Installation for Bee and Thistle Inn, Old Lyme, CT
2000 Mural for Aldo Company, Langerwehe, Germany
1999 Mural for Schoeller Plastic Company, Langerwehe, Germany

EDUCATION

2004 MFA, City College of New York, NY
1998 BFA, Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, CT