Each installment features a writer, artist, or curator discussing an underrated artist, artwork, movement, or museum.
Today we're with Miljan Suknovic, an artist currently residing in New York, on the topic of George Stevenson, an artist and long-term resident of Cold Spring, NY. You described him as "a guy I met several years ago and who was very detached...not influenced by the art market and art business." My interest was immediately piqued. Can you elaborate on this first encounter?
I saw George for the first time at the Art Student's League on 57th street, seven or eight years ago. He was painting joyful images from his life and memories of events. I wouldn't necessarily talk about style or an art movement that he represents, but more so a feeling of a genuine artist who creates his work in his way.
How would you describe his art to someone who has never seen it?
His art is colorful and powerful. There was always a story represented, with many characters involved, very free perspective in random but harmonic composition. I don't like to compare one artist to another therefore I can't say who looks like George! When you see his art you would immediately know that he was having lots of fun while he was painting it.
Why do you say that, that he wasn't influenced by the market?
The art market is very different from other markets, so it has its own logic and rules. Since barely any artist can live off their work, influence of the art market on artists is very strong. Some artist have different sources of income, some are products of the art market and some basically don't care. I guess that George is just having great time doing his art and his art reflects that.
Do you think too much of today's art is influenced by the market? What sort of art has this produced?
Nowadays, lots of art has a short life and trends are changing constantly. If an artist would follow the trends, he or she would constantly be under influence to change, but on other hand, the art market loves signature artists since the buyers can easily recognize the work. On top of everything, connections are key for success and quality isn't exactly what matters. What this results in you can just imagine.