Notes from the Arts + Crafts Research Studio of Andrew Cornell Robinson
Originally written for ArtCal.net; the following is a conversation between artists Steve DeFrank and Andrew Cornell Robinson. The conversation took place in DeFrank’s Brooklyn studio on Tuesday 16 September 2008.
Steve Defrank’s new series of paintings in the exhibition Mirror, Mirror at Margaret Thatcher Projects plumbs the depth of personal myth to reveal deceptively cheerful and malevolent emotions. His paintings depict a saccharine sweet caricatured naturalism rendering images of hidden sexual desire represented by images of degradation such as tree stumps and wooden boards riddled with carvings of phrases such as “Aunt Fancy” and “I Love Cum”. The paintings are playful, but in a mischievous and subversive way and offer a significant departure for Defrank who had developed a signature body of work based on the format of the lite-brite toy.
Steve and I had the opportunity to speak about his work shortly after the exhibition opened.
Andrew Cornell Robinson: You made a transition in your work. You moved away from your signature lite-brite compositions and created this incredibly rich language of painting. Tell me about what was going on as you were going through this transition.
Steve DeFrank: I was doing the lite-brites. It was my gimmick, my shtick. It was beautiful, it gave me many gifts, and what I’d like to say is that my medicine finally kicked in.
Read the entire interview on ArtCal.net