Unearthing ancient narratives from the detritus of industrial decline, where Sirens grapple with sinking ships and Sibyls predict cataclysmic events, Beau Stanton gilds his apocryphal myth with the graphical elements of creation, destruction and rebirth, inviting the viewer inside our collective unconscious ornamented by layers of chipped artifice and the rusted machinations of time.
The work combines classical oil painting with intricate silk-screened patterns inspired by pre-modern architecture, letterpress printing designs, and decayed infrastructure. To create the unifying foundation for the body of work, Stanton began exploring abandoned 19th century sites around the greater New York City area, collecting photo references, cogs and gears from Staten Island’s Rossville Boat Yard, and metal and glass from Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. The initial studies of these artifacts were distilled into highly ornate silk-screened compositions. Finally, the pieces are fully rendered with oil paint, manipulating focus, light and perspective.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Beau Stanton to get the skinny on his upcoming exhibition this April at the Bold Hype Gallery.
1xRUN Thru Interview
Mythos & Mechanism by Beau Stanton
1xRUN: You’re working on a new collection for your solo exhibition at Bold Hype Gallery in April, can you tell us about the work in the show?
Beau Stanton: The show is called Archaic Ornaments and includes a new series of oil paintings on wood, as well as some oil and screen print hybrids. To create the first stage of the hybrids I worked with Alexander Heinrici, a master screen printer, who has been in New York City for over 30 years working with notable artists from Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst. Working with Heinrici allowed me to work much larger than usual at 4×4 feet and with multiple screens providing room to experiment with the sequence of layers, color combinations, and various techniques like color blends and transparent layers. After this stage I add other elements and continue rendering and manipulating depth and focus in oil.
1xRUN: We recently had a chance to visit your studio in Red Hook – Brooklyn, give us the run through about the location and inspiration the space has provided.
Beau Stanton: My studio is in a Civil War era warehouse building on the Brooklyn waterfront. I share the 2nd floor with a series of small woodworking shops which provides that fresh cut wood smell and the motivation you get from an environment where people are building things by hand. You can really feel how much history this place has just by walking on the giant timbers that make up the floors or when I look out my window and see where huge ships used to dock. It’s an amazing place to work.
1xRUN: We heard that you may be coming to Detroit this summer for a project, can you put some light on what your ideas are?
Beau Stanton: I’m working on acquiring a dilapidated Victorian style home in Brush Park or a similar area. Ideally the structure would be somewhere between livable and stripped down. The use of the house would be a kind of pop-up exhibition including conventional paintings as well as many site specific installations composed of found structural and decorative elements from around Detroit, large scale applied ornamental patterns on the exterior and parts of the interior, murals, and custom designed stained glass windows installed. The overall concept is to restore some of the beauty and craftsmanship that existed in Detroit’s past while ornamenting and highlighting some of the degradation creating a dialogue about the past, present, and future of the City.