Join us for an aritst talk by New York artist Stephon Senegal on Saturday, May 20th. This is also the last day to view his exhibition “BLU BLK” and Artis Lane’s “Emerging” at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art.
Stephon Senegal was born in Louisiana and raised primarily by his Grandmother. The challenges of his impecunious upbringing became a catalyst for his early visual investigations. Without the more playful trappings of childhood, he created small toy figurines using black electric tape and wooden branches. He continued these explorations throughout his adolescence with hyperrealistic drawings, exploring themes that nearly resulted in expulsion from secondary school.
After completing his early schooling, he attended Howard University for undergraduate studies. The thematic constructs of his work heavily indulged ideas around vice and brutality, a carryover from his adolescent art. While at Howard he began to merge these notions into a more cohesive paradigm: the latter being driven by a childhood fortified through familial dogma and an unchecked exposure to sexuality and violence.
He entered the Maryland Institute College of Art to begin the next level of instruction. The work continued to engage similar premises albeit with a keen focus on the sculptural form. Alluding to the more violent assertions in the work, he used a mixture of demolition and meticulous reconstruction in their creation.
Though he presently works mainly in bronze and steel; his visual language continues to evolve through mediums that include works on paper, photography and video. Senegal plays with ideas of duality in reference to formation and restoration. His work explores this interplay through renderings of human and animal forms, embracing both depravity and breakthrough. Commingled through his art are hints of Catholic tutelage and the esoteric nature of unsanctioned religious ritual cleverly hidden as lifelike, yet liberal formations of mammalian structures. In the words of the artist: “Brutality and carnal impetus are fundamental drivers of human intent and interaction;” an idea fundamental to his artistic discipline.