acrstudio notes

Notes from the Arts + Crafts Research Studio of Andrew Cornell Robinson

A conversation with Steve DeFrank

Originally written for; 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.

Painter Steve DeFrank in his studio, photograph by Andrew Robinson.

Painter Steve DeFrank in his studio, photograph by Andrew Robinson.

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on September 2, 2011 by in Andrew Cornell Robinson, Art, Interview and tagged , .


September 2011

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: