An artist, transitioning from painting and mixed media in the late 2000's to working almost exclusively in photography, Steven Duede brings a sense of painting to his use of the camera. The influence of painting in much of the photographic work cannot be understated. Originally from the midwestern USA Steven has been living and working in the Boston Massachusetts area since 2001. With a work history in museum operations, academic office administration as well as consulting and design for museums, galleries and arts non profits he carries his attachment to the creative process to all work. Currently, Steven serves with the board of directors with the Griffin Museum of Photography. His work has been recognized and supported as a fellowship finalist by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and he founded and works as principal and curator of Aspect Initiative, an online gallery showcasing Fine Art Photography. Visit: AspectInitiative.com. Additionally, Steven serves as a reviewer in the New England and Flash Point Festival Portfolio reviews sponsored by the Griffin Museum of Photography. RISD portfolio reviews and has served as a juror for United Photo Industries The FENCE. Steven served as a portfolio reviewer in the Palm Springs Portfolio reviews at the Photo Plus Expo in NYC as well as the !4th annual PSPF in sunny Palm Springs CA. Having studied painting, printmaking and photography at the Kansas City Art Institute, then becoming an entrepreneur, for a time owning and operating a small music shop & gallery, Steven has devoted much of life to making art and working in creative environments. His work has been exhibited regularly in the Boston area, New England, and around the nation.
Selected Museums and Galleries include the Danforth Museum of Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, DeCordova Museum, Brattleboro Art Museum, Photo Center North West in Seattle WA. Fort Wayne Museum of Art, 555 Gallery/Boston, OuiMille/Boston, Sohn Fine Art, PhotoPlace Gallery, VT. Site: Brooklyn NYC, Colorado Photographic Arts Center/Denver. Public Art Projects with United Photo Industries (The FENCE) as well as King Co. PCNW (City Panorama) in Seattle.
Private collections: Atlanta GA, Boston MA, Burlington VT, Cambridge MA. Chicago Il. Kansas City MO, Melbourne Australia, Morristown NJ, Namur Belgium EU, Newton MA, St. Louis MO.
Permanent collections: Danforth Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Boston Properties.
Works on loan to the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University and DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
- Featured interview in Boston Voyager Magazine
- Work reviewed by Elin Spring 'What will you remember?"
- Work featured on the CNN photography blog. Click here to view the feature: CNN
- 'Critic's Pick' from the Griffin Museum of Photography Click here to veiw Griffin Museum
- Works featured on Crusade for Art
- Featured at August Ardor
- and here again at August Ardor
- Work used on Tablet Mag
Photo of Steven Duede by Silke Hasse, during the New England Portfolio reviews. View Silke's work!
Excerpts from the essay regarding process and the Evanescence Series
During my years in art I was always interested in painting and photography as a means to convey ideas that were maybe not so obvious to a viewer within what might appear to be obvious imagery. Through texture and colors and patterns more ideas regarding the meaning of the subjects might avail themselves to those of us in the audience, depending on a person’s point of view.
This idea that I mention began for me many years ago as a painter. When making paintings and when viewing paintings I was very much drawn to the texture of a painting. The colors, the brush strokes the density, the intensity that I might feel when viewing or making paint move on canvas. This is how much of my painting was rendered. In thick areas of color colliding among swirls of dense heavy textures of paint. This idea that my images should be chaotic yet rhythmic. Organic, should at times reference art history, should be so packed with texture and physical substance that they can be viewed on different levels. Comforting, discomforting, beautiful, and transitory. These are themes I’ve toyed with for many years. And these themes have spilled over into most of my work in photography.
When I transitioned from canvas to camera I found that the act of acquiring images or of being in the world observing things and making choices regarding themes or scenes in the exterior outside of a studio very satisfying. The rhythms in natural forms the textures and colors we find all around us were as exciting to me as any time I put brush to canvas or mixed paint on a pallet.
In my process, I almost exclusively work in series. I did this in painting and I do this in photography. I’m involved in putting together groups of images that are relative to one another. That contain similar textures and shapes color schemes so that when viewed together one can potentially find a seamless narrative or a sense that the images can go on forever or are one large never-ending image.
When working with my compost subjects for the Evanescence series I’ll begin shooting and return again and again over time shooting basically from only a couple of different angles. Once I’ve shot numerous images I’ll review the dozens of images captured over time to select or cull out those that I feel are the most impressive to use in the series. This can be a very time consuming process. Working this way allows my imagination to flow freely and often times concedes interesting accidental forms and visual rhythmic incidents to appear in the work.
The images also reflect my continued interest in images that can be beautiful, images that are chaotic, from natural elements and that also evoke something less obviously lovely. Flowers and natural things are marvels of beauty and obviously flora is a big subject in my work juxtaposed, alongside elements of the ugly, the degraded. These elements bring to mind thinking about the contrast of the lovely and the less than beautiful. The decomposition of natural compositions. Thoughts about mortality and vitality can arise from participating in these sorts of themes and that thoughtful imagery abounds for me in my own creative process. Additionally, and this was not my intent when I began this series, we can see a rather timely theme regarding renewable energy and environmental issues and a need for composting and recycling of raw materials.
I’d mentioned the title of this series is Evanescence. The act of something slowly transforming into a gas or a vapor. This series reflects this notion of decay and rebirth of transition and transformation. When working with these subjects I’m always reminded that these photographs are indeed transitory. I can never shoot the same photo in that narrow space ever again. The subjects are gone, turned to composted soil and vapor. Truly evanescent and forever transformed.
2015/16 - Steven J. Duede