John Mitchell interviews painter Stephanie Pierce whose exhibition Signal is on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York through March 4, 2018.
Pierce comments: “My work is made by observing things in my immediate surroundings over long periods of time. After the surface is ready, I start looking everywhere for a way in, asking everything around me, “are you a potential painting?” The process of looking and hand wringing before I start painting takes much more time than I’d like to admit. I dread that part because it usually feels like I’ll never find the opening to begin. Once there’s something that offers a glimpse of possibility, that might be a kind of light, a cryptic narrative, or the potential read of things when next to each other, I begin. If I see a possibility in something that makes me nervous I try to gravitate towards that, especially when I don’t know if it will work or I’m questioning a need to give myself permission to do it. The paintings track time and light observed through many layers of painted information and are accrued to the point of barely coalescing confusion. They are constantly revised throughout the process. I paint during all times of the day, preferring daylight, and use the changes in light as it happens. In the process of working on them I paint both towards understanding what I see and away from it until things are brought to a heightened experiential intensity and have a hallucinatory sensation.”