Artwork by Michael E. Stephen, 2015-2016
Everything is an object and we’re all a mysterious collection of them.
a Topp’s trading card signed by that favorite sports athlete shoved into the spokes of a bicycle, a bag of Andy Capp’s Hot Fries from the ice rink; your special penny; a teddy bear missing a nose due to over excessive kisses; cults; all religions; cold glasses of milk; a moment of regret; blanket forts; a quartz crystal; the rare black witch moth (ascalapha odorata); a stranger’s Polaroid; the only gold plated VHS in the world; a chewed drafting pencil with embedded histories; cinephilism; first kisses; bruises and scars.
Our attraction to objects is often mysterious. It is here in this mysterious zone of attraction, where I seek to reveal the omen in the ordinary.
Special Edition, 2016
issue #1 of FANGORIA Magazine (1979) plated in 24k gold
8.5 in x 11 in x 1/4 in
From an auctioned set of wisdom teeth to a piece of lunar meteorite, my works, composed from appropriated, altered and cast materials, evoke the complex visual experience culled from subcultures of the 1970s-1990s.
The Lost Boys, 2015
found Polaroid circa 1987
4 in x 4 in
Cloaked in a psychotronic aesthetic of filmic culture, these carefully considered objects are sourced for their ritualistic and cult potential to create new autonomous relics that archive the VHS era.
Cold Black, 2016
RCA CPR300 VHS camcorders recording each other through black acrylic
64 in x 30 in x 60 in
Through the process of melting and recasting, my materials are alchemically transformed. Muted by nostalgia, these objects gain new context while securing the essence of the origin.
Box Set, 2015
found VHS clear jacket cases, fossilized Jet wood (lignite), incinerated VHS cassettes of an honest grouping of horror films: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Lady in White (1988), The Howling (1981), Jaws (1975), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Cujo (1983), Frankenstein (1931), King Kong (1933), Arachnophobia (1990), Swamp Thing (1982), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Dracula (1931), Fright Night (1985), Psycho (1960), The Shining (1980), The Fly (1986), Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), The Exorcist (1973), It (1990), Alien (1979), Poltergeist (1982), Child’s Play (1988), Pet Sematary (1989), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Misery (1990), The Birds (1963), The Thing (1982), Aliens (1986), Carrie (1976), Creepshow (1982), The Lost Boys (1987), Gremlins (1984), Videodrome (1982), Candyman (1992), Hellraiser (1987), The Omen (1976), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), House (1986), Evil Dead (1981), Children of the Corn (1984), Evil Dead 2 (1987), Scream (1996), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Urban Legend (1998), Event Horizon (1997), They Live (1988), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), My Bloody Valentine (1981), Amityville Horror (1979), Seven (1995), The Blair Witch Project (1998), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), The Last House on the Left (1972), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), I Spit on Your Grave (1978), Brain Dead (1992), Re-Animator (1985), Freaks (1932), Peeping Tom (1960), The Wicker Man (1973), Bloody Birthday (1981), Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), Black Christmas (1974), The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Maniac (1981), Suspiria (1977), Dementia 13 (1963), The Fog (1979), April Fools Day (1986), Nightbreed (1990), The Prowler (1981), Prom Night (1980), Sleep Away Camp (1983), C.H.U.D. (1984), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Maniac Cop (1988), Alice Sweet Alice (1976), Initiation (1984), Sorority House Massacre (1986), Cheerleader Camp (1987), The Toolbox Murders (1978), The Mutilator (1985), Nosferatu (1922), Curtains (1983), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1960), Phantom of the Opera (1925), Offerings (1989), Repulsion (1965), Jacob’s Ladder (1990), Nail Gun Massacre (1985), Cannibal Holocaust (1979), The Fun House (1981), Carnival of Souls (1962), The Changeling (1979), Alone in the Dark (1982), Demons (1985), When a Stranger Calls (1979), Phantasm (1979) and diamond dust recast into VHS cassettes.