• August 2, 2004
  • Posted by Marc

Profile: Steve

Age: 28
Hometown: San Mateo, California
(20 miles south of SF)
Where do you now live?: San
Francisco, but I’m moving in a month
Where would you most like to
A lot of different places - Havana, Australia, Kauai, Mexico,
the Netherlands, Japan… but as much as I’d like to live elsewhere I have
always lived in the SF Bay Area.
Who was your first “hero” in
Mr. Rogers. For so many reasons.
What is your
favorite thing to do on your day off from work?:
Work for me now is
teaching and art-making, luckily. So why would I want to take a day off? When I
do, I still work; cleaning my studio, researching, everything seems to be
connected to my work. When I really get away I travel. But even then I do work
on the road - taking pictures, reading, etc. I really enjoy my work, so…
/>What is your favorite color?: Who cares?
Who (or
what) do you love?:
My wife. My friends. My life. It’s not ironic or
funny, but what can I say, it’s true.

Who and/or
what are some of your influences?

Here’s some - Authors:
Stewart Ewen, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn. Music: Reggae, Soul, Afro Beat, Jazz,
Country Western, etc. The Other Side: City Planners, Legislators, Politicians,
Advertisers and Marketers - they influence my work a lot! Other stuff: teachings
of the Buddha, motorcycling, the artists and friends that I surround myself

What other artists do you most admire?
Mmmm, they’re all people I know to some extent or another. Rigo
for the variety in his different works and the way his pieces involve the
surroundings. I think
tt Cook-Dizney
does very important work, and href="http://www.harrellfletcher.com">Harrell
also has amazing ways of including the public in
his work. There’s a lot of innovators in music who seem to bridge different
cultures, the old and the new, etc. which I respect. Oh, and I guess I’ve been
reading a lot of Dan Clowes and Adrian Tomine comics lately and the way they
draw the backgrounds is amazing. And, really, I admire all who dedicate
themselves to art.

How would
you describe your art to someone who could not see it?

/>Most people want some kind of quick, simple description like “I
paint,” or “I make ‘street art’” or “I’m a photographer.” However, my work
centers mainly around a few ideas that are important to me that I want to
communicate to others - like encouraging critical thinking about advertising,
media, public space, and daily life and promoting integrity, understanding,
communication, and democratic principles. So, my work stems out of a desire to
communicate these concepts and I will do it in whatever way works best. If I
thought I could make people understand the problems of media consolidation
through a ceramic vase, i would make a ceramic vase. The materials and methods
are secondary concerns. I’ve done everything from video, to screenprinting, to
watercolor conveying these ideas. And what puts me in the street is not a desire
to get-up, or deviance, or fame, or mystery. I just want to make site specific
work that communicate to a non-art, non-gallery kind of audience. I want the
thousands of random people that will encounter my work to hear what I have to
say because it’s important to me and because I believe things like critical
thinking, media literacy, integrity, communication, peace, freedom, etc, are
important to them. I want to reach people that aren’t typically receptive to
these ideas. For me, I feel a sense of responsibility with my work. I could
never go out into the city and write my name or create some kind of personal
iconography. It’s an opportunity to say things that can mean so much more. It’s
an opportunity I can’t let pass. So, what’s it look like? Well….

What other talent would most like to have?

dream of being a better writer. Words and music convey feeling so well sometimes
it makes me wonder if visual art is a waste of time. (maybe that’s why there’s
so much text in my work…) Along the same lines I dream of being a better
speaker and teacher. Of course all these things relate to communication I’m
trying to do through visual art. There’s things I’m constantly working at, like
listening, being more present and less preoccupied, learning…. I’m young,
there’s a lot of stuff I want to be better at.

What do
you fear the most?

Harmful accidents to myself and
people I know. Also, Bush being elected in November, thereby legitimizing
everything he did in the last 4 years because it would be seen as approval by
the US population - that scares me. Dying at an old age and feeling like the
world is just as bad or worse as when I was born scares me. More war, more
suffering, more death worldwide. (hate to be a bummer)

/>What is your greatest ambition?

To be happy and
content with what I’ve accomplished between birth and death! What else is


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