Stephen Affleck
Stephen Affleck
Stephen Affleck, The Paths of Color in Time, 2000, 36 x 46 inches, Oil on Canvas

The Genesis of Is Series

"This series explores the twists and turns the imagination takes when deciphering what is placed before it. The eyes waltz across the surface plane, injecting reflected light through the retina directly to the brain with every step. These curved brush strokes act as a partner, akin to the stars that when combined form the little dipper."

If one hopes to be told exactly what to think, what to feel, or what to see when viewing a painting, walk away from these paintings. My art is specifically designed to have no defined message to be received, but to stimulate the imagination to create its own meaning. During this process of interpretation, the viewer is involved in my favorite pastime, the joy of creation. Those who claim not to have "one creative bone" in their body: I invite to view one of my paintings and see what comes to mind.

Abstraction is used in my work to inspire meanings and feelings unique to the individual viewing my work. When an image is abstract, the viewer has the freedom to decide what they are seeing by creating it in their imagination. This means the painting can represent something very distinct in the intellect of the viewer and therefore, what the painting represents can be unique to that specific viewer.

Now you might say isn't that true for any painting? My answer would be yes, but abstract paintings do not require you to think about horses for example, (even though you can if you desire), whereas a painting of realistic horses is forcing you to think about horses and hence, when you look at it, your imagination is more likely to picture horses.

The goal of my work is to stimulate your imagination to create anything you desire in the painting, and apply this creation to the painting, releasing complete interpretive freedom. Therefore, while some might not find any meaning in my work, others will know the exact meaning of a given piece by what their intuition tells them, because there is no wrong answer.

"The meaning . . . is painted in your mind."

— Stephen Affleck