Steven Sebring "Illumination: Who Are Poets"

Milk Gallery

poster for Steven Sebring "Illumination: Who Are Poets"

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Steven Sebring's "Illumination: Who Are Poets" showcases digitally abstracted portraits of some of the greatest musicians of the day: Neil Young, Jim Carroll, Joey Ramone, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Phillip Glass and Richard Hell.

We are constantly looking at still and video images through compressed formats, on smaller screens, on shrinking devices. I invert the approach to current media, by enlarging the miniscule
detail of compressed imagery to a point of beautiful abstract distortion.

By breaking the image elements into enlarged color tiles, I strive to create two levels of viewing. I experiment with pulling the eye of the viewer back and forth between the sterile smoothness of
tiles and the composed depth of the lit portrait. It is a mediation of human emotion and experience contained from the perspective of digital age. My subjects, who are poets – parse the human experience into measures of words, sounds, images.

The portraits are large in scale, evoking sacred items to be viewed with a sense of awe and wonder. One thinks of stained glass windows in cathedrals; upon close examination, the exquisite tiles break the image into astounding squares of colored glass. The abstract color tiles invite the viewer to explore the surface texture of the image. When you take a step back, the image becomes whole, the work illuminated, shining light on its subjects - poetry of itself.

I make a statement on the nature of the poet - we can see these faces at a distance, but the tiles prevent us from recognizing the subjects at a closer range. The sum of their work and voices touches us, but they are, as all people are, ultimately unknowable.

-Steven Sebring

Steven Sebring, photographer, filmmaker and multimedia artist, is known for a distinctive style that merges raw realism with high-end fashion. Over the last two decades, Sebring photographed and
directed international campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Maybelline, DKNY and Coach. His distinguished celebrity and rock’n’roll portraiture led to a meeting with the legendary Patti Smith.

Sebring collaborated with Smith on an 11-year documentary, Dream of Life, a full-length feature and Sebring’s directorial debut. The film, a plunge into the philosophy and artistry of the cult icon, won a 2008 Sundance Award for Best Cinematography and received a 2010 Primetime Emmy nomination.



from April 04, 2011 to April 17, 2011


Steven Sebring

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