Stephen Wright

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: valley village, CA

These paintings are based on things I’ve been collecting for some time: quirky items that range in theme from science fiction and industrial production to vintage kitsch, as well as objects from my childhood. On some level, they all speak to me as something I want to have around me.

The scale of these paintings is modest and intimate. I try not to be grandiose or profound in any overt way, but instead start with something relatively absurd and legitimize it—caring for it, in a way—by finding in it what is intrinsically interesting and meaningful. Part of the fun is finding the appropriate object to paint and discovering its character: Is it funny or serious? Lonely or lofty? Often, in isolation, the thing possesses a feeling of gravitas. In the end, if the painting makes me smile, or I sense that I’ve caught some aspect of myself in it, I feel I did a good job.