Colby Stephens – American Pantheon – Detail Image 2

American Pantheon. Detail image. Illustrations by Colby Stephens, watercolors by Claire Stephens.

Colby Stephens Reno, NV. www.colbystephens.com

About the Artist.

Dissatisfied with the current divisive discourse present in American politics, Colby Stephens makes work that seeks to reframe the conversations that surround political topics. Stephens intends to foster a more thoughtful engagement with political issues ranging from economic policy to the use of military drones than what is currently present in popular media outlets. To do this, Stephens situates his critiques of political structures in historical and constitutional contexts rather than relying on ever prevalent “bumper sticker doctrine.” Rooted in extensive research, Stephens takes large concepts and breaks them down into units a process he refers to as the stratification of information. To this end, every aesthetic decision serves to communicate an idea, and intends to foster a discussion. Frequent use of allegory and mythology allows Stephens to address complex issues in ways that allow viewers to engage with the work, and enterit at myriad levels.

Stephens’ first large body of work, Normalcy, Not Nostrums, critiques Federal Reserve policy on issues ranging from the non-market-based approach to manipulating the federal funds rate, to fiat currency, to the very principle of central banking. His second large body of work, American Pantheon, a project based on a myth Stephens designed, situates the Nostrums critique in the larger theater of American politics today.

Stephens expects to receive his MFA degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in May 2014. He lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and fellow artist Claire Stephens. Together, the pair share a passion for the outdoors and backcountry adventure.

 

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