Explosions in a Shingle Factory:
Trajectories Through a Fractured Landscape
Artist: Stephen Singer
About this Show
Stephen Singer is a recent MFA graduate from the Museum Studies program at Syracuse University, with a BFA in painting from Purchase College. Although versed in traditional oil painting, he is tethered to no one medium nor dimension, working with materials as diverse as plastic, dust, and the very fabric of space itself.
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen all at once.” – Pinky Caruthers
After visiting the landmark Armory Show in 1913, a critic for the New York Times famously likened Marchel Duchamp’s cubist inspired Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 to “an explosion in a shingle factory.” Although meant as an insult, it is not an altogether inaccurate description. Representative works show a delicate balance between chaos and structure, serving as documents of upheaval. They are attempts to derive meaning from society splintered by war, rapidly evolving technology, or a host of other – often jarring – paradigm shifts. The process of fragment-reintegration is manifest in the Surrealist and Pop movements as well, the first focusing on the mind the second concerned with consumerist sensibilities.
This series is a love letter to those movements, reveling in both the explosion and the measured search for reason thereafter. Despite their chopped and disjointed nature they are expressions of hope, the search for eddies of sanity in the turbulence. An exploration of movement, unfurling visions of chance, death, and transcendence.
They were created using Adobe Photoshop, utilizing processes undoubtedly familiar to users of that graphics editor. Techniques found in both traditional collage and painting are employed, combining roughly chopped edges and painterly flow, with a subtle translucent layering indicative of digital manipulation. There is a large element of chance involved in their creation, the results tenuous compositions that threaten to come apart at the seams.
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Stephen Singer. Explosions in a Shingle Factory: Trajectories Through a Fractured Landscape. May 2021. Syracuse University Libraries. Biblio Gallery Online. https://digitalexhibits.syr.edu/bibliogallery/stephen-singer/