Steven C. Harvey

Born (1967) in Stafford, England, and now lives and works in Athens, Greece. He studied Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art (1986-1989). A constant interest of the artist has been the search for new ways to express the vertiginous absurdities of our condition. The most recent manifestation of this strategy is the Vehicles Series, the first phase of which has been acquired for the permanent collection of the MUDAM (Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean) in Luxembourg. Recent exhibitions: Vehicles, Agathi Gallery (Athens, 2008); Garage Project, Art Athina-Contemporary Art Fair (Athens, 2008); T-Tris, B.S.P 22-Espace De Création Contemporaine (Charleroi, Belgium, 2009); Brave New World, MUDAM (Luxembourg, 2010); Locus Solus, Benaki Museum (Athens, 2010).

 

Those of us who find ourselves linked, as if by an umbilical cord, to Surrealism can take comfort from the endless capacity of the world -in the antics of its dominant creature- to replenish the surrealist imagination. As man goes on his way, inventing and destroying, aspiring and collapsing, he leaves behind him a trail littered with the potential seeds of fresh poetic sparks. From a handful of such seeds arose the kernels of the Vehicles Series such as: the 20th century aspiration to a science fiction future, the 21st century knowledge of the death of this future, the current erosion of the Enlightenment and the unprecedented moral schizophrenia of 21st century man, a man of good character reliant on the spilling of innocent blood and toxic effluent, haunted by the chiding ghosts of his own cautionary myths. 

          Thus, in this series, the vehicles of Man's canceled Future Dreams regress to paralysed absurdities, acquiring forms absolutely off-limits to the stale formulas of the Hollywood science fiction blockbuster. These images are not future predictions but statements-of-account regarding what J.G.Ballard called our “inner space”. Cataloguing the monstrous present, they are reports from the filth-strewn construction site of the new, stalled, Tower of Babel.

          In depicting Man the moral contortionist, I have tried hard to listen to the voices of Bruegel and Goya. The binding of their influence to a subverted lexicon of science fiction imagery, is -I hope- one of many poetic sparks offered by the series.

 

      Steven C.Harvey

Photos

Road Accident, 2007, Pencil on Paper, 59 x 42 cm, Private collection, Luxembourg
By Their Vehicles Shall Ye Know Them, 2011, Pencil on Paper, 58 x 73.5 cm, Courtesy of the artist

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon