SUSPECTS

Steve Veatch : Seattle Portrait & Figurative Artist


ABOVE: Suspect G, 2017. Acrylic, egg tempera and ink on rag hot press. 12" x 9"

I want, need, love, loathe, like and fear people. These are the axes upon which my work turns.
Above is the best condensation in words of my work's reflection that I can presently think of.
I'm an Expressionist with a nod towards the conceptual and surrealism. I want my work to pass through your mind like a glimpse of people and All Things Passing. Willem de Kooning called himself a "slipping glimpser." Among my influences is my past, as art is autobiography. But Francis Bacon and Van Gogh have stained me for good. With Bacon and Van Gogh, the paint was made flesh. Bacon sobers me and Van Gogh makes me cry with and for beauty—and both birth melancholy, the Beautiful Sadness of lavender, cinnamon, sun, sea, mountain, roses; scabs, broken flesh, broken minds as All Things Pass.
Barking at the heels of Bacon and Van Gogh is Marlene Dumas. Dumas carries on Bacon's disquiet with a humane sensibility. Lastly, a basting of Goya, one of my demigods of The Enlightenment, a lantern of hope and reporter of despair and horror.
I grew up on a 21 acre hobby farm in Colorado—one supported by outside incomes—where the beauty of the land was as animated as Van Gogh's work. Among that beauty erupted sometime ghastly life and death events. Parades of troubled, troubling people and lovely people. A sense of deep time, that all this will happen over and over somewhere, somehow.
Fraught with meaning, art nourishes us and validates that zone of interaction with the world and our inner life. Art is an incarnation of the shards of our minds, even as its materials influence its outcome. Respect for the latter is crucial to my work: a waltz with the universe through my mediums and materials.




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