The art of Steven Orner is a kind of a tale, portraying different aspects of an imaginary American Suburb. For several years, the Artist explores utopia and its opposed concept: dystopia. Figurative, his artworks are structured as interrupted stories/legends, or suspended where forms and fragments are often presented as settings.
Inspired by the American « Suburbs », Orner draws a portrait, sometimes disturbing, of these residential suburbs that, within the collective imaginary, represent the pursuit of futile perfection. Appearances are, from time to time, misleading within this work that reveals to the attentive viewer amazing and unexpected details, mixing the comfortable reality of a residential area with science fiction.
His most recent paintings offer, a series of fragments, derived from modern popular imagery of the American Culture of the Fifties and Sixties; caricatures, landscapes and architectural elements, are removed from their context and integrated in a holdover universe. Textures and tones are mixed, in transparence, watered down colors – or even dazzling ones – reveal an art that holds ancient and contemporary characteristics, simultaneously.
Sometimes, the Artist portrays himself in his visual exposures. In so doing, he allows us to accede to this new overwhelming and intriguing reality.
Poetic and symbolic, the authentic sense of the sites and objects is constantly transformed in the art of Orner, offering the spectator a eccentric universe where make-believe, modern and contemporary critic, poetry and fiction are questioned with, needless to say, a touch of humor and mystery.
Steven Orner was born in the United States and resides since 15 years in Montréal. Bachelor of Arts of The Maryland Institute College of Art and he holds a Master in painting and engraving from the renowned Yale University School of Art, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Since several years, the Artist dedicates himself to his pictorial practice. He has been the subject of numerous solo as well as group exhibitions, in diverse surroundings: Musée des beaux-arts du Mont-Saint-Hilaire (2010); also in the United States, Paris, Berlin. Acknowledged Recipient from Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, in 2008, and also from The Canada Council for the Arts, in 2009 and 2012, his artworks are part of public and private collections, in Montréal and New York. He also was honored with other prizes, in particular from the prestigious Schoelkoptf Travelling Fellowship Prize from Yale University.