5.08.2016

OUTSIDER ARTIST - STEVEN SNYDER




Whenever I visit an artist studio, I agonize over taking a portrait that captures both the artist and the spirit of their art. Well, the above photo may be a bit predictable, but I couldn't resist, and Santa FE artist Steven Snyder was a good sport posing for the shot. 

He's also a wonderful practitioner of OUTSIDER ART. 

The term  was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for the French art brut - raw or rough art - a label created by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture. It's an art form that I'm drawn to and so when I met Steven a few weeks ago, I asked if I could see his studio and shoot if for Chasing. 





 His custom studio is vast, filled with light and very organized. Beautiful  storage shelves dominate one wall, and  vibrant
 paintings are everywhere.





I asked a few questions...

Photo by Jennifer Esperanza

1. Outsider Art is a very special direction/art form...When did you realize that this
was your passion and talent?
I knew my entire adult life that I would paint once I put kids through college and
could focus entirely on the creative process. My original paintings were done on
scra.
Q, Outsider Art is a very special direction/art form; when did you realize that this was your passion and talent?

I knew my entire adult life that I would paint once I put kids through college and could focus entirely on the creative process. My original paintings were done on scrap wood. I violate the rules of traditional painting by using non-traditional materials such as house paint, spray paint, tile mastic, drywall mud, and found objects.  When I first started painting in 2006, I was totally self-taught; this just seems to be how I learn. 





1. Outsider Art is a very special direction/art form...When did you realize that this
was your passion and talent?
I knew my entire adult life that I would paint once I put kids through college and
could focus entirely on the creative process. My original paintings were done on
scrap wood. I violate the rules of traditional painting by.
1. Outsider Art is a very special direction/art form...When did you realize that this
was your passion and talent?
I knew my entire adult life that I would paint once I put kids through college and
could focus entirely on the creative process. My original paintings were done on
scrap wood. I vi
Q. What triggers your thought process for creating a new piece?

My work varies between landscape and figurative (mostly portrait) paintings. I first decide the subject matter and then intuitively pick a base color for the background. Sometimes I actually sketch outlines into the wet paint with my finger or the end of a brush.

My portrait pieces are inspired by the wonderful art in magazine ads from the 50's. Fashion also plays a part in my figurative work as I’m fascinated by present and earlier trends in female fashion. 



Photo courtesy of artist

Photo courtesy of artist


Q.  What artists do you admire most and why?

One of my favorite artists is Edward Hopper. I have an emotional experience when I see his work. His stark lighting and the mood he creates transports me back in time. He evokes the sense of loneliness that we all feel at one time or another. 

I also like the American Southwestern artists Fritz Scholder and Earnest L. Blumenschein. These  painters captured the essence of the radical social changes occurring in the lives of native Americans due to the mass migration of white settlers in the west.



Q. If you could create a large-scale piece, what would be the subject and where in the world would you like it to hang?

I'd probably do a large figurative mixed-media painting. I would love to see it hung at MOMA or the Whitney in NY.



Q. What is an essential ingredient to your creative flow?

I often ask myself if I listen to music so that I can paint or if I paint so that I can listen to music. I’m incapable of doing one without the other.



S T E V E N   S N Y D E R

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