All images are archival pigment prints. Sizes, prices, and edition information are available on request. Some works are not for sale. (Note: Each image in "Narratives" contains text within, or below, the image.)
My name is Stephen Spiller. I live and work in Long Island City, NY. I've been included in gallery and museum exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Miami Beach, Arles, France, Malaga, Spain, Thessaloniki, Greece, etc., online exhibitions, e.g.International Emerging Artists Dubai, and in digital group shows, e.g. Scope Miami Beach, Miami, Fl and See|Exhibition Space, New York, NY. I've also been recognized in U.S. and international competitions, e.g. Worldwide Gala Photography Awards, International Photography Awards, California Open Competition, etc. and published in Photographer’s Forum, Best of Photography, International Photography Awards Competition Book, Musee Magazine, etc.
My interest is the evolution of social, political, and cultural themes that offer a window into understanding how contemporary life is shaped and lived. I explore those themes by focusing on drivers of individual passions as well as on manifestations of such passion originating from unstated, suppressed, or otherwise hidden events.
Central to my current work is the idea that people are increasingly exploited by an array of interests and factions. For example, influenced by advertising and fashion, countless numbers behave as if they are constantly on stage, demonstrating who they want to be, are expected to be, or others believe them to be. They need to present themselves favorably, convinced that distinctive clothing and accessories are required. By overstating the value of physical appearance, they are distracted from caring who they are, engaging in a futile effort to cement contrived “looks” into the foundation of their identity. Absent immediate and positive feedback, feelings of self-worth are sabotaged. Even gratification from positive feedback engenders the risk of false identity. My view is that beauty and fashion reflect fantasy and encourage false perceptions of identity and an obsession with appearance qua identity. I believe the absurd focus on looks seeds the destruction of identity development, particularly in circumstances where “we fashionistas will counsel you” trumps understanding oneself.
Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
Venice, Italy (October 3 - 9, 2015) Venezia Open Art Collective Exhibition
Berlin, Germany (This group exhibition opens in Berlin the 3rd Q 2016. It then travels to other European cities in 2017, specific dates and locations to be announced)
Carter Burden Gallery, New York, New York (Group Show: Closed June 29, 2015)
National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Thessaloniki, Greece (Group Show: Closed April 8th 2015)
Musee Magazine, 2015 Issue # 12 - Controversy
Musee Magazine, 2015 Issue # 11 - Vanity
What I believe
“Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense — the creative act.” Kenneth Rexroth, Disengagement: The Art Of The Beat Generation
“... art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.” Ossie Davis
Language not only expresses thought, it "...actually determines the way in which its speakers perceive the world." Benjamin Lee Whorf.
"Unless art achieves an esthetic shock capable of dissociating us from our established experiences, it is just illustration." From Art In America, attributable to French philosopher Jacques Rancière
"Fashion Is Murder." Words carved in cement by an unknown author. (My take? It's real life memorialized in a Soho sidewalk. Clichés like Drop dead gorgeous. Killer looks. Dressed to kill. To die for. all expresss fantasy - amusing following a lobotomy.)