Painting Themes

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Anthony Stephenson's curriculum vitae

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Saatchi Art


50 Versions of a Dromoscopic Still Life

BellWorks once Bell Labs 2022
networked digital imagery
40°21'55.22"N 74°10'2.53"W Listed in the National Register on June 26, 2017, the Bell Laboratories-Holmdel is significant for the architectural design work of Eero Saarinen and Associates. Just as Google uses a network of technologies to bring us their products such as GoogleEarth, it has been used here as other network technologies are being used today in place or alongside other technologies that were once the exclusive domain other media. A realm of photography is available in which the digital object is created from afar.

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50 Versions of a Dromoscopic Still Life

"Monument to the End of the Road" 2021
pre-viz video
Don’t be fooled by the title of the “Monument to the End of the Road”. Although many experts say that we may be on the precipice of a collapse of life as we know it, it will not mean the end of the road. Even if we manage to get over this crisis and develop new modes of transportation, roads will remain for the terrestrial. But as part of the solution to our climatic challenge, perhaps roadways may become less or even wholly different than what they are today.

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50 Versions of a Dromoscopic Still Life

"50 Versions of a Dromoscopic Still Life" 2020
video & prints
Another dromoscopic approach to image making, this time with a focus on the traditional subject matter of a still life. This is a video format to the prints available at SaatchiArt.

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The Bike Rack Dromology Mixes
"From Land to Sea" 2020
This project began with an old (dromoscopic) idea that I first tried as a college student many years ago. In what I would now consider perhaps a sketch - and my first “road movie” - “Drawing” (c. 1977) was composed with an 8 mm camera, shot at night, driving onto an on-ramp and about a mile of freeway in Southern California. In the current piece, 3D scans from the GPS technology of GoogleEarth were used. Perhaps a type of travelogue, the “camera” starts at the Due Process Estate in Colts Neck, New Jersey and basically follows the Navesink River to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. This unstable medium was spliced together in a manner that was dictated by its glitches – where the various added visual effects, and subsequently the audio track that accompanies it, were added at moments called for by the imagery.
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The Bike Rack Dromology Mixes
"The Bike Rack Dromology Mixes" 2020
electronic art music
The photo series known as Bike Rack Dromology (found here) has been utilized here in a new compositional manner. Looking at the series as a sort of musical score, the image files were first converted to sound files – the results, of course, were very abstract and atonal. They were then brought into a digital-audio-workstation where the pitches were edited to conform to the shapes seen in each of the photographs. Various audio processing was added to add interest and rhythm. While the atonality still remains, arrangements were made in various musical styles familiar to avant garde experimentation such as classical (2), IDM (3), rock (5) and jazz (6).

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"Interjections" 2020
“Interjections” has been an ongoing project in which an image or a video catches my attention and I decide to do something with it. While this selection might not be a full one, it shows some known and other photographers and artists that are randomly selected and then have their internet postings played with. Remixing the visual.

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bike rack dromology
"Eight Days of Trickle" 2019
“Eight Days of Trickle” were exhibited for the eight days prior to Christmas Day 2019 on Instagram and Facebook – ten years later than when first presented online to the Rhizome and Netbehavior mailgroups. The “Trickle” paintings are named after the top philanthropists of 2008/9 and are abstractions of digitally manipulated images of gifts found online that are then either painted or printed on canvas.

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bike rack dromology
"bike rack dromology" 2019
digital (slit-scan) photography
“Since the visible is only the surface effect of the alacrity of the luminous emission and since, meanwhile, what happens more and more quickly is perceived less and less distinctly, it is indeed necessary that we recognize the obvious, that what we see in the visual field is such thanks to the mediation of the phenomena of acceleration and deceleration in all points identifiable with variable intensities of illumination. If speed is light, all the light of the world, then what is visible derives both from what moves and the appearances of momentary transparencies and illusions. The dimensions of space, are themselves only fleeting apparitions, in the same way that things are visible in the instant of the trajectory of the gaze, this gaze that both is the eye and that defines place.” – Paul Virilio

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Great Work ...
"Great Work (if you can get it)" 2019
electronic art music & graphics
The Great Work or Magnum Opus as it is known in alchemy, breaks down the transmutation of base material into gold into (in this case) a four step process: 1 - Nigredo, 2 - Albedo, 3 - Citrinitas, and 4 - Rubedo. Alchemy’s pre-literate attempt at systematization has inspired an abstraction here that uses the idea that four of the world’s continents give the character to the chromatic stages mentioned above. In this series of electronic art music, the avian symbology found in these treatises as well as Jungian psychology, the birds of a feather (BoF) meeting style used by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to denote initial meetings of members interested in a particular issue that can also allude to the “old boys network” found in the highest ranks of capitalism and politics. The great work of nations and mankind are made at these high levels, standing on the shoulders of other greats. Grand gestures and intentions become the glory of a privileged class whose “work” becomes a Philosophical Stone upon which the Great Work is built.

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Twisted T and Barrels & Cones
"Twisted T & Barrels and Cones" 2018
In 2012 I photographed what I called "Stacks" and posted it on Instagram. Over the years I continued to occasionally find these random compositions of street devices and photograph them. Then in 2016 someone found a video on Reddit and posted it to Facebook that I immediately reappropriated by titling it "Twisted T".

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artist's fee 2018 anthony stephenson
"newsroom images 2018" 2018
media art
What is the value of an image? In journalism, timeliness can be of the essence. The value of news can be equated to it's currency. This is a selection of images collected over the years while I worked for a daily newspaper from the early eighties to the late nineties. Their original purpose has long expired. Does the reappropriation within an art context change the meaning or value of these items? While no longer news, they might still be considered historical documents. The hardcopy remnants are now antiquated media. These went from digital to hardcopy back to digital in a manner paralleling their character as journalism to art to, ultimately, history.

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artist's fee 2018 anthony stephenson
"artist's fee" 2018
A funding practice that re-channels the flows of desire in capitalist exchange, with a fee that goes from zero to exorbitant, the artist’s fee has now been made into art. In between the title and a dated byline, a link to PayPal links directly to the artist's account.

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Dromoscopic Photography
"Dromoscopic Photography" 2016 - 2017
digital photography
"Opposite to the stroboscopy which allows us to observe objects animated by rapid movement, as if they were in slow motion, this dromoscopy displays inanimate objects as if they were animated by a violent movement."
– Paul Virilio

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"nothing" 2017
A tangible offering to the discussion held on the NetBehaviour maillist proposing a work consisting of nothing.
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"Circles" 2017 (1996 - 2011) (UX/UI)
I noticed a pattern emerging, again.

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"XO" 2017 (1996 - 2016) (UX/UI)
Somewhere around Valentine's Day I noticed a pattern emerging ...

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"Xrds" 2016
acrylic on canvas (dim. var.)
More evocative than descriptive, these paintings are my interpretations of satellite images of famous traffic intersections.

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"pan-O-selfies" 2014
digital photography
Amidst the self-portrait craze that the camera phone created, the panorama feature brought time into still image making for a fun house twist on an ancient tradition.

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Change - 3 Coins 64 Times
"Change - 3 Coins 64 Times" 2011
metallic acrylic on canvas panels 6" x 6" ea.
Using a fortune telling game, that sometimes uses three coins, as a method of composition ...

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"insurance" 2010
graphic art & painting
It has often been asked what the value of human life. Numbers are occasionally calculated, but specific transactions are an underworld activity. Fair valuation has been proposed for specific body parts by celebrities and their money-makers in the form of insurance.

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"Trickle" 2008
oil on canvas & giclee (dim. var.)
These works are based on images found on the Internet. They are pictures of gifts in their wrapping which have been brought into Photoshop and pixellated for the male characters and layered and softened for the females. The names are based on the top five philannthropists of 2008.

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Mine + Yours = Ours
"Mine + Yours = Ours" 2007
paper & acrylic on canvas (shown with simulated fence frame)
A diagrammatic riff on the cultural.




Disparate Measures
"Disparate Measures" 2007
acrylic on wood fencing, 48" x 60"
The blue area is taken from the shape of a soundwave pattern of a bird chirp.








"Singularity" 1996
acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48"
What is a painting?
[cf. Roger Penrose and Delueze & Guattari]




Made for Making It, Again

"Made for Making It, Again" 1993
paint on photo & chalk on chalkboard, 35" x 48" (total)
A doubling of interior/exterior mechanisms of materialization







Paint ' Photos
"Paint 'n Photos" 1991 - 1993
paint on photos, (dim. var.)
paint • photography • cyberspace.

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The Draft of a Movement Too Fast to be Seen
"The Draft of a Movement Too Fast to Be Seen" 1992
acrylic on unstretched canvas, 51" x 51" (dim. var.)
In a cloak of ideology, nothing remains to be seen.





"Trailer" 1992
mixed media, (model 9" high)
This idea, first ignored by the organizers of the 1982 Olympics in Los Angeles, would be ideal for subways (instead of the original highway proposal). Using the principals of animation, a series of images would appear to move as the vehicle speeds by.




Found Improvisations

"Found Improvisations" 1990 detritus (dim. var.)
Compositions were made and photographed where junk had been left in the suburban landscape. A policeman sent to one of the scenes found nothing to charge me with and allowed me to continue.

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"Philtered Commerce" 1989
Linocuts with gold & silver ink on rice paper
These images were of sexually psychoactive plants were done as an example of self-censorship during the Culture Wars spearheaded by the right-wing during the 1980s.

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"Symbiotistry" 1988
computer graphics
Using Photoshop version 1.0, these are explorations of the symbiotic relationships between plants and rough proposals for larger artworks.


Commercial Space Fig. A

"Tryptych" 1977-1987
mixed media, 10" x 75" (total)
Here we have the recombinant value of the word as high abstraction and interactivity.


Commercial Space Fig. A
"Commercial Space (fig. a)" 1986
painted wood with photo, 19 3/4" x 12 1/2" x 3 1/8"
A pre-structuralist construction supporting a trace of a sign signifying nothing any more than an elaboration of a readymade collage in the Abstract Expressionist style.



"Gramr" 1985
acrylic on canvas with painted particle board, 82" x 54"
A "weighty" interpretation of Painting made after reading Jacques Derrida.






"The Medicine Show of Bawdy Bill" 1985
television script (1st draft, unedited scanned conversion)
A pilot screenplay demonstrating an idea for a weekly television show that would center on a once popular travelling medicine show format. Envisioned in a post-modern style where song-and-dance routines would spice up the comedy that focuses on homeopathic and historical approaches to health and healing.

6l17ch3d 73x7 (glitched text)


"Mole" 1984
wood, lacquer & paint, 6 3⁄4" x 6 3⁄4" x 8 1⁄2"
This is this.





"Slave" 1984
text & graphics with audio, dim. var.
What was once called intermedia might now be considered early multimedia. This project was created with a boom box, a typewriter, pen and ink, and a photocopier. Audio is juxtaposed to images and lyrics or instructions.


The Baby Slant Step

"The Baby Slant Step" 1983
wood, glue, gold paint, 4" x 5" x 9"
A riff on a piece by Bruce Nauman.




Bells Are Ringing
"Bells Are Ringing" 1982
paint on masonite with pearl, 96" x 18"
A song trickles in the air as waves, somewhere, crash upon a shore. And in the depths, beauty is formed – as the spillover of an unformed dream.



"Dreamstand" 1981
painted wood, 8' x 12 ' x 2 1⁄2'
A podium and derelict's retreat, "Dreamstand" was built at the Los Angeles Times' Times Square where it faced City Hall. On the last day of it's exhibit, packing my guitar case, I took the bus downtown. When I got there, I took out the axe I packed, I proceeded to demolish the project. As I was doing this, one of the street people walked up to me and said: "I hope that you realize that you are destroying somebody's home."
Later, upon refelection, I realized that the "stairway to heaven" that I had built delivered me out of the City of Angels to the land of the 'Jersey Devils – perhaps a speech was in due order.



"Silver" 1980
paint on canvas, 48" x 24" x 3⁄4"



"Gold" 1980
paint on canvas, 48" x 24" x 3⁄4"
Painting as ontological simulation – see "Drawing"



Bells Are Ringing
"Drawing" 1979
collage on gesso, 12 3⁄4 x 16 1⁄2" ea.
"Drawing" was exhibited with "Silver" and "Gold" at the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1980. Visiting Los Angeles some years later, I was downtown and decided to look down a street to see if the building that I used to live in was still there. It was. But draped around it was a banner saying that it was now "The Future Home of the Pacific Stock Exchange."




Beginning with the word as abstraction, “Zounds!” (c.1977) presented onomatopoeia into the conceptual field. These investigations went from the Derridean influenced architectonic (“Gramr” 1985) to image/poetic ("Paint on Photos") to Deleuzean diagrammatic (“Mine + Yours = Ours” 2007). Recurring themes that bring together a morphology and ideology that is not only conceptual, but sequential within the construct of its evolving logic. The work has moved from the astrophysics of “Singularity” (1996) to a series of work titled “The Ambit Suite” (2007) in which the border became the issue, to studies in value with “Trickle” (2008) and “Change” (2011). Mobile affectations have been lined-up in a series of videos entitled “Dromoscopic” (2015) while perspective and abstraction are more of an issue in the "Xrds" (2016) paintings. History and capitalist flow dominate 2018 as value and perspective arise again the following year.
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