Stephen Hansen

“As an artist I am not an explorer of the human condition, so much as a hapless tourist, making snapshots of whatever strikes my fancy. I work primarily in papier-mâché, the appeal of which is twofold. First, it is fast enough that I can try out ideas without any sense of commitment. Secondly, it is a material so inherently humble that I can claim to make ‘cultural icons’ or ‘distilled social observations’ without feeling too pretentious. Stylistically, I think of my work as lifelike rather than realistic, a choice made out of a desire to represent ideas rather than individuals.

I make sculpture with the idea that it should both attract and communicate. Towards that end, I try to make art that is intellectually accessible and aesthetically seductive. I approach my work day as though I were the director of a small repertory company, with a group of actors that I costume and coerce into the characters of the story I want to tell. They tend toward overacting.”

Born in Seattle, Washington Stephen Hansen is a self-taught artist who received the New Mexico “Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts” in 2009. Over the years, he has participated in many exhibitions, including retrospectives at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan and Las Cruces Museum of Art, New Mexico, as well as the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C. His art can also be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States.