WALTER STEDING: This is My Voice
WALTER STEDING: This is My Voice
April 27 - June 4
Closing Reception: Saturday June 3 | 3-6 PM
Join us at Howl! Happening Saturday, June 3rd from 3 – 6 PM for the closing reception for WALTER STEDING: This Is My Voice. Celebrate with an afternoon of music, poetry, and art including special guests Penny Arcade, Linda Kleinbub, Stewart Meyer, Puma Perl, Barbara Rosenthal, and Jeffrey Cyphers Wright.
There is an ethereal other-worldly characteristic inherent in the images like they are trying to tell the viewer a secret. —Emma Zakarevicius
Howl! Happening is pleased to present an exhibition of portraits and allegorical paintings by Walter Steding that move beyond representation to hidden and poetic unseen worlds. An artist who has worked in many mediums— acting, writing, filmmaking, music, painting—his personal lexicon creates an alchemical mix projecting these works into a deeper, more mystical realm.
Steding—who was Andy Warhol’s painting assistant and is a virtuosic violinist well known for developing his own electronic instruments and performing solo and with Blondie, Jim Carroll, David Byrne, Chic, Robert Fripp and Panther Burns—has been painting since he was 5 years old.
His portraits go beyond Realism. They fix you with an intense focus from a purely pictorial space, floating in a neutral background that emphasizes all the more the essence of the sitter, whether it be the Grand Prior of the Knights Templar, the Golem, a jester, a family portrait, or a dog,
Capturing the essence of his subjects, he says he is concerned with the world of “non-being” that transmutes his sitters’ physiognomy into a virtual space of pure imagination. The simplicity and straightforward gaze, reduces the critical “noise” representing external reality and the viewer can experience these people and creatures, as through an abstract lens of shapes, colors, and forms.
In his painting, The Fall of Boaz, the two pillars of Solomon’s Temple crash and burn in the background while a cast of characters and symbols create a tableau upfront that fuses his esoteric knowledge and understanding of art history. His straightforward manner allows one to by-pass the actual image and artistic style and inhabit the allegorical space of his imaginative world.
Like an old master painting, Storming the Capital is all metaphor and stylized emotion and relies on the observers’ interpretations of the meaning that Steding sets forth. Clearly emotional in tone, it insists on a deeper spiritual meaning portraying issues of life, death, love, virtue, and justice.
In an interview with Brainard Carey on Yale’s WYBC radio, Steding calls himself a “recording artist,” a description that draws upon threads of creativity woven of color and sound. “Both art and music use “harmony,” says this the multi-talented creator, “and the vibrations of color and sound permeate and transmute each other.”
Like many of the artists and people of the Lower East Side, Steding’s generation continues to create, “[We] have something to say about our culture, our time, and what’s happening today,” he says. “There is a chance that art and music can have a voice and here is my voice.”
Image: Walter Steding “Storming The Capitol”, Oil on Canvas.