Artist Statement

The Rape of The Two Betties #IV, Steve Stones, Ogden artist, utah

Steve D. Stones’ painting “The Rape of The Two Betties #IV”on display at the North Ogden Arts Festival in 2010.

The distribution of symbols is an important part of behavior influence and social persuasion. Symbols often exercise power and control over individuals and social groups because they are a universal language which most people can understand and relate to. Symbols direct a mass audience towards a particular behavior, such as the Christian cross on church building, a railroad crossing sign, or a figure in a wheelchair indicating handicap access or parking. Symbols also represent desires, fantasies and unrealistic expectations we wish to achieve in our lives.

My interests in painting lie in de-constructing, appropriating and dismantling mass media symbols. My paintings utilize religious, political and pop-culture symbols in a variety of unexpected and peculiar ways. I appropriate these familiar symbols and place them in an unfamiliar context in order to construct new content with them. By taking symbols of fear and placing them in a harmless, innocent context, or symbols of wholesome middle America and placing them a dark, deviant and ridiculous context, I hope to gain insight into the source of power these symbols draw upon.

I assimilate material for the paintings from many sources. These sources include pulp magazines , comic books, movie stills, food packaging and advertising. Art historical paintings also serve as a reference and structure for many of my paintings. The paintings includes several different media such as Xerox transfers, collage materials, acrylic paint and airbrush techniques.  – Steve D. Stones

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