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Renée Stewart
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2020

I’ve created text-based art for several years. Sometimes I use Braille or Latin for the phrases or quotations, and provide translations. That allows a work to exist unencumbered by language, to be a painting, rather than merely the expression of a thought.

The rust panels began as a humorous meditation on the inevitability of death, rust being the ideal medium to represent entropy. Then, death ceased to be amusing.

My work is often political in nature, a response to my own outrage at the rise of white nationalism, militarized law enforcement, and sorrow at what democracy has failed to become.

For the rust panels, I use asphaltum to hand-letter words or phrases on steel, then leave the steel panels outside. Later, I remove the asphaltum to reveal the lettering.

Other text-based works employ multiple layers of oil glazing on panel to achieve a depth of surface, and gilded lettering.

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