Steven Van Neste's Inspiration

exhibition, painting, uzumaki, spiral

Art, for me, is always about exploration and the finished work is more of a snapshot than something final. 

The astronaut reveals earth by exploring space, similarly, the artist is like a 'psychonaut' who reveals the psyche by traveling outside of it. This for me is the essence of art, to move outside the scope of one's regular mind, and to find a psychic space larger than we ever could have imagined. My paintings are illustrations of the mind, photographs taken as I wander the empty space and stratas between thoughts. 

I have always been inspired by the color-fields of Clyfford Still and Mark Rotkho, and the idea that the painting comes with its own experience, rather than being the representation of something. So the work of art being a snapshot, I don't mean in a literal sense of it being mere representation, but rather in a more open sense, where it can be experienced differently by different people.

As much as I like the idea of color-fields, I generally never begin a painting like that, as generally the genesis of my work is a thought or image, which leads to exploration and eventual abstraction. The thoughts which form the basis of my work are varied, though usually they are ideas which enter my mind and invite me to explore. I am always inspired by the weird and the mysterious, and hence a lot of my work involves settings of altered thought and being, where suddenly even our own self can no longer be taken for granted.