Life is Suffering by Evan Stickfort

Monday, April 23, 2012-Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Evan grew up in Northeast Iowa and found a passion for art early in life. He divides his time between working on artistic projects and wandering the woods on his family’s property. The landscapes in the area have been a major influence on his art. Even when focusing on the surreal, he applies certain elements of the region to his work. Evan commands a high level of skill in several media including oil painting, charcoal, digital artwork and sculpture. He graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting in May of 2012.

Artist Statement

“One particular source of inspiration for my art is the idea that life is suffering. As I encounter such an idea through the works of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who argued that every day of our lives is filled with pointless pain and suffering, I explore how such a gloomy outlook may alter the perception of one’s life.

Through my paintings I capture subject matter representing significant moments in the stages of human life such as childhood, adulthood, and old age. These moments are expressed by subjects such as a baby carriage, a wedding portrait, and a wheelchair. I utilize oil on board in combination with my own photographical reference and a low key, desaturated color scheme to render each painting in a photorealistic manner. This photorealism forces the subject matter of my paintings into reality for the viewer, creating a more tangible experience which supports the possibility of truth behind Schopenhauer’s dreary philosophical ideas.

In my paintings I prefer to only suggest the presence of the people rather than show the figures themselves, leaving behind familiar objects affected by memories and the passage of time. The absence of life in my paintings is the underlying theme of my work. One cannot be fully alive if life is nothing more than pain and suffering.”