Stephen Burke is a contemporary Irish artist, currently living and working in Glasgow, Scotland.
Since the age of fifteen Stephen has grown strong roots in the Irish street art community, and in more recent years, he has evolved his artistic practice into the realm of fine arts. Stephen creates work inspired by our shared public places and in doing so, he diverts our perception away from the conventional ideals associated with these spaces.
The resulting artworks strive to bring a broader interest in the many irregular characteristics which make up our built environment. Having undertaken a two month artist residency in Atelier Maser, Aches has created a new body of work especially for this exhibition - his premier solo show. The exhibition launches to the public on Thursday 14th March, pm. Having created work since the age of fifteen, Aches is a creative force to be reckoned with.
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Boasting an impressive repertoire of work, he has been invited to design and create original artwork for many projects around the world, in countries such as Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Miami, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, England and USA. He has collaborated with Irish artist Maser, and a series of international artists including Insane51 and Fork4.
Coining his father as a rich influence to his creative process, Aches has evolved his artistic practice through many styles over the years. Originating with traditional painting techniques and sketching as a teen, he progressed his painterly style into an impressive mural career, and most recently, Aches has evolved again into the realm of anti-alias and sub-pixel paintings, some of which will be on show at Atelier Maser.
He sees the process of painting, and indeed the process of creating, quite like a form of personal meditation. A creative outlet that evokes a space of stillness for both the artist and the viewer.
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Having studied Visual Communications in NCAD, Dublin, Aches credits the design skills learned here for influencing his extremely precise and technical style of work. The work itself is centred around the potentially negative effects that are created by communicating through technology on a constant basis.
Digital apps are designed to make it so simple to connect with anyone, anywhere, yet in many cases it actually creates a bigger distance between us and the people who we are the closest with. It is so easy, and convenient, to be constantly in touch with each other online, however, because we are constantly updated about the lives of our friends - it almost gives us an excuse not to meet up in person. Through his artwork, Aches has illustrated the idea of distorted identities through a series of hand crafted, pixelated portraits.
Taking a digital photo as the starting point, each portrait has been created with a limited colour palette consisting solely of Red, Green and Blue colour variations. The RGB palette is specifically selected to emanate the colours that we see most often - the colours on screen that create the digital representations of our friends.
Hand mixing every colour to correlate to the onscreen pixel tones, Aches has created abstract representations of faces familiar to him - with intricate detail and many, many layers of paint spray and acrylic. Up-close the work can be viewed as woven web of colour overlays, but from a distance - the portraits emerge. This allows the viewer to have multiple experiences of the same painting, which is paralleled with the idea of interacting with the many digital aliases of the same person.
For the exhibition at Atelier Maser, Aches invites the viewer to take photos of the work on their phone. The image captured will create a clearer representation of the person in the portrait, less pixelated and more life like - therefore bringing the image full circle. Self taught and trained, the young artist formerly represented by The Unit London, now lives and works in London borough of Hackney. Overset with recurring motifs of women, horses and flowers, Doyle reinvents the still life with a charming intimacy.
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The artist honed his skills painting graffiti rather than going to art school. This is evident in his work, his courageous and expressive style feels emancipated, and is a refreshing contrast from the standard art school graduate. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.
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The painting becomes a living thing and calls out for the color it wants. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.
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God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea. You have to look at it like a melody.
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