Steve Byrnes

Region: Midwest


City / State: St. Louis, MO

When making a painting, I employ only what I deem necessary. Due to this economy of material, the canvas, for example, has to do more than simply act as a surface to put an image on; it has to contribute to the image itself. To get the most out of these materials, I use them in a way that emphasizes what they are. If I am using paint, I want it to feel like paint. If I am using canvas, I want it to feel like canvas.

For me, allowing the canvas to be trampled on, creased, crumpled, and marred with various substances from the studio floor—dirt, dust and oil—makes it feel more like canvas. Paint too can feel more like paint if misused. By permitting it to travel freely from one location to another, simultaneously sullying multiple surfaces at once, I make canvas unabashedly perform its most basic and natural function. The resultant artifact, when hung on the wall, operates as a battery of experience—the experience of painting.