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Stevens Vaughn

curated by

Stefano Poggi


OPENING Monday 16th May 2016 - 5 pm


Stevens Vaughn’s artistic experience establishes with his gestures a relationship with life in a kind of mythical ritual, inherited from his experiences in China and Japan, changing the way of seeing beyond aesthetic expression in a fantastic privileged condition. Because he does not look outside, but inside: inside his origins, inside his self, choosing the ideal gesture, the ideal form, among proportions to be challenged, colors to be exhibited and dream-like signs to be exalted. The very same artist affirms: “Mystery is the essence of my being. I inhabit a world of chaos, a world where the outcome is no more relevant than the beginning. Rituals create a sense of order in my existence. I have a fascination with rituals. The most sacred of my rituals involve water”.


“A painting is not a picture of an experience, it is an experience.” We could draw on this thought by Mark Rothko to describe Stevens Vaughn's work, which conveys the meaning of a visual essentiality, only apparently confusing, but structurally associated with an ironic and colorful view, expressing with its irrepressible sign a misleading gestural line, guided by a manual drive that is full of emotional and cultural expressionism that belongs in a sound reality. The structure or, better still, the ‘ritualism’ of each work is composed as the expression of a non-verbal thought, transformed into an articulated structure based on the revelation of reality, where a stylistic exercise capable of turning desire into the irony of creativity joins a deferred dilation of time and space. Patches, rapid straining and chromatic hauteurs contain the definition of space, contending against nature and poetry for the search of formal solutions for their work, which end up in a disturbing use of such a primary element as water.


In making art, Stevens Vaughn always uses, as a ritual, the dripping technique, which does not imply throwing color in a casual way. On the contrary, it means, based on an experienced search, distributing each drop of pigment following a naturally relative order where the unsteadiness of the free-flowing spout can give rise to different figures: it can break into small drops, it can splash according to the impact on the surface but always in a balanced manner or, as in some of his latest works, the folds of the paper may determine the color surface. Whatever the case may be, he never surrenders anything to style or to the viewer’s expectations, but only to the unyielding and patient journey of color, often diluted with water, hence becoming quicker, on the spotless sheets of his favorite paper, expressing a search for something that is, that exists. Often there is not even a story to be described, but the interior of the image is reached straightaway, coupling technique with the expressive demand of vision.


Mémorial Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza

Av. Amilcar Cabral, en face de la Mairie Centrale

Brazzaville, Congo

From 17th may to 17th june – 10 am to 8 pm

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