STEVEN LABADESSA

My practice serves as a physically enacted ritual of praise and contemplation, aspiring towards a devout pursuit of a severe beauty. It is an aesthetic of imperfection alluding to the underlying nature of matter and memory: everything is subject to age, wear and decay; however obstinately, suspended in the mythical timelessness of the medium(s) – still, but never silent.

...alternatively...

The work encapsulates a mute story of disenchantment wrought by the disillusionment.

An agnostic practice in the face of futility (partly wrought by the decadence & existential angst of the digital epoch): a meditation on the eternal; wherein, transcendence, if it were to exist, can be found deep within the vulnerable and mortal fabricated self.

And there, the acknowledgment that transcendence lies not in purity, but in the finding virtue in the impure.


...formally...

I exact a preference for hyperbole (i.e., operatic) and psychological texture in my work. It explores in an expanding a suite of works within the confines of self-portraiture and the poetics of observation; where I re-render the flesh of friends and relations (lasting and temporary) by compositing my imagery from a variety of observed, imaginary and digital sources serving as a conceptually conceived cultural document wrought by the agency of these tumultuous times.

The roots and tone of my work are supported by many pillars in the myriad expanse of the Arts including the dark avant-gardism of Tatsumi Hijikata’s Butoh, the choreography of Pina Bausch, the performance, video and installation artist, Vito Acconci, the Romantics Poets (Lord Byron & Percy Shelley, in particular) and extending back to the Northern Renaissance (Hans Memling & Jan Van Eyck, notably).