Steven Rosenthal

BA (Hons) Fine Art 2008

Chelsea College of Arts

Description

Departing from a foundation firmly grounded in the familiar my studio practice and associated concerns are an ongoing and evolving dialogue focused on the elevation of form, from the personal to the universal, the ordinary to the extra-ordinary. Whether plundering the chronicles of art historical or extracting from the overlooked, the everyday, I am engaged with the how a manipulated contextualized or resituated object can affect the way one approaches a conclusion about something, rather than a conclusion being fully resolved, so that it remains an open-question through to other things.

Building a solicitous miscellany of often text-based objects, which co-exist within a universe of poetic mischief, the experience of one defines how you look at the next. Surface appearance is initially deceptive: a concise formal modesty points simultaneously in two directions towards the mundane (like an assisted readymade) and towards the ideal where held information unfolds gradually, to reveal a discovery of intensity. Beneath the glossy faade of external certainty lies a wry and nebulous doubt, tinged with a sadness of dignified melancholy, tenderly corrupting the things that we think that we know. With a nod to the pun, a nudge at nostalgia and a wink towards kitsch, tacit ironies are imbued with an ironic sense of the comedic, and driven by a desire to quietly challenge.

Equally profound and one dimensional, earnest yet absurd, the work is constructed to retain a position of the paradox; where what you see is exactly what you see yet remains simultaneously ambiguous breathing life into flatness, giving rise to the illusory, giving the illusion of meaning so much, when in the ordinary sense it may mean nothing at all.

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