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Steve Powers

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“I like to make paintings that focus on the messy business of life. Love is the basic ingredient of life, and so thats a major component in my paintings, also work, food, beverages, trouble and triumph all have a place in the frame as well.”

Interview by Oswald Kazoo, Empty Kingdom, October 2013.

Stephen Powers (1968) aka ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach) became known in Philadelphia and New York in the late 90’s for his conceptual approach to graffiti. In 2000, Powers moved away from graffiti and has dedicated his practice to studio work and public commissions. Fascinated by signage, typography and billboards, he combines words and imagery with wit to deliver a positive message.

Powers is a socially conscious artist, outside of his own practice he designs and creates programmes to engage disaffected young people in art.

He created, with Barry McGee and Todd James Street Market at New York City’s Deitch Projects. This exhibition was selected for the 2001 Venice Biennale. In 2004, he also participated in the group exhibition Beautiful Losers which travelled to several museums in the US.and Europe.

Amongst wide-scale mural projects, in 2010 Powers Worked on “A Love Letter For You” in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. This work Involved painting 50 murals in West Philadelphia.

The Street Market Installation was rebuilt and expanded for the LA MOCA Art in the Streets in 2011). In 2015, the Brooklyn Museum presented Steve powers’ s mid-career retrospective.

Artist’s website

“I like to make paintings that focus on the messy business of life. Love is the basic ingredient of life, and so thats a major component in my paintings, also work, food, beverages, trouble and triumph all have a place in the frame as well.”

Interview by Oswald Kazoo, Empty Kingdom, October 2013.

Stephen Powers (1968) aka ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach) se fait connaître à Philadelphie puis à New York à la fin des années 90 pour son approche conceptuelle du graffiti. En 2000, il arrête le graffiti et se consacre à son travail de studio et aux commandes publiques. Fasciné par la signalétique, la typographie et les affiches publicitaires, il fusionne les mots et les images avec humour pour délivrer un message positif.

Powers est un artiste engagé, notamment dans l’apprentissage de l’art pour les adolescents en difficulté.

Il crée, avec Barry McGee et Todd James, l’installation Street Market à New York. Cette exposition a été sélectionnée en 2001 pour la biennale de Venise. En 2004, il participe aussi à l’exposition collective Beautiful Losers qui voyage à travers différents musées aux Etats-Unis et en Europe.

En 2010, il installe une immense fresque murale “A Love Letter For You” en partenariat avec la ville de Philadelphie et son Mural Arts Program. Ce projet implique 50 fresques dans toute la ville.

Par la suite, l’installation Street Market sera reconstruite dans le cadre de l’exposition du MOCA de Los Angeles Art in the Street en 2011. En 2015, le Brooklyn Museum présente la première rétrospective de l’œuvre de Steve Powers.

Artist’s website

“I like to make paintings that focus on the messy business of life. Love is the basic ingredient of life, and so thats a major component in my paintings, also work, food, beverages, trouble and triumph all have a place in the frame as well.”

Interview by Oswald Kazoo, Empty Kingdom, October 2013.

Stephen Powers (1968), alias ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach), maakte naam in Philadelphia en New York in de late jaren ’90 met zijn conceptuele aanpak van graffiti. In 2000 nam Powers afstand van graffiti en wijdde hij zijn kunst aan studiowerk en publieke commissies. Hij combineert woord met beeld en scherpzinnigheid, en geeft zo gevolg aan zijn fascinatie voor pictogrammen, typografie en billboards.

Powers is een sociaal geëngageerde artiest en ontwikkelt programma’s om misnoegde, jonge mensen te werk te stellen in de kunstsector.

Voor de New York City’s Deitch Projects creëerde hij, samen met Barry McGee en Todd James, Street Market. Die tentoonstelling werd geselecteerd voor de Biënnale van Venetië in 2001. In 2004 nam hij ook deel aan de groepstentoonstelling Beautiful Losers, die te zien was in enkele musea in de VS en Europa.

In 2010 installeerde hij “A Love Letter For You”, een gigantische fresco, in samenwerking met het City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Voor dat werk schilderde hij 50 fresco’s in West Philadelphia.

The Street Market installatie werd heropgebouwd en uitgebreid voor de L.A. MOCA Art in the Streets in 2011. In 2015 presenteerde het Brooklyn Museum Steve Powers’ mid-carrière retrospectieve.

Artist’s website

Artist's works