Jansson Stegner paints people - just, not real people. He clarifies that his paintings are not portraits, but rather the culmination of composites of studio based studies, internet searches and his imagination. Lately, however, Stegner is shifting his approach toward portraiture and occasionally using a single sitter for his nevertheless highly stylized figures. Stegner credits his youthful infatuation with comic books for his interest in art and particularly exaggerated depictions of the human form.
What can I say? I’m totally in awe of Jansson Stegner’s genuinely weird approach to figuration. The people that populate his world come from the uncanny valley of just-distorted-enough to tickle my brain, full of muscular huntresses captured in gloriously active poses.
The art of Jansson Stegner interests me - I've been a fan of his mannerist figurative works for many years. His work appeals to my own way of making paintings - mostly for his interest in old paintings from history. I could list artists (other than myself), who also share this interest - Christian Rex Van Minnen comes to mind, John Currin, Trevor Guthrie, Robin F. Williams and others... But Jansson Stegner is an artist who has developed a shockingly original style all his own.
With elongated bodies and distorted proportions, Jansson Stegner's paintings of strong female characters seem to invert gender roles and get us thinking about identity and power today.
Don't miss shows by Mamma Andersson, Neha Vedpathak, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins in the city during Armory week.
Muscular men, poised for action and blushing, acquiescent women have historically populated the world of portraiture, each mirroring a prevailing male perception of the human form. This premise has been both template and challenge for the painterly practice of Jansson Stegner.
Who’s Afraid of the Female Nude? Paintings of naked women, usually by clothed men, are suddenly sitting very uncomfortably on gallery walls. Male artists wonder whether they can work with the female form, while the world questions what their intentions were in the first place.
Nino Mier Gallery is currently presenting Jansson Stegner's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. This new series of oil paintings that ascribe male and female figures with exaggeratedly rendered physiques explores the inversion of gender roles within myriad aspects of authority, dominance, submission and beauty.
In the sitting room, a Jean Royère polar bear chair nestles among works by Ugo Rondinone, Jeremy Deprez, Allan McCollum, and Stefan Rinck. Lamp by Serge Mouille; Edward Fields rug. Art fills the master bedroom: from left, pieces by Brent Wadden, Piero Gilardi, Stefan Rinck, and Isaac Brest; Vladimir Kagan sofa; Fortuny pendant lamp; curtains of a Pierre Frey fabric.
Even when artists are working with the same subject, the results can be dramatically different, reflecting their personal style, choice of medium, and other artistic decisions. This fundamental truth will be in evidence at the New York Academy of Art’s “Take Home a Nude” benefit auction, where 112 artists, from Ryan McGinness to Natalie Frank, have each donated distinctly unique drawings made of the same nude models.
My (short-lived) muse moment began when the New York Academy of Art called to ask if I would guest model at Will Cotton’s annual Drawing Party. I’ve known Will for years - he’s on of my favorite painters, and people - and who wouldn’t be the slightest bit flattered to be considered a “model”, if only for one night?
On the opposite side of Zombie Formalism, heating up the basketball court, were Jansson Stegner’s highly gurative softcore cheerleader portraits at Brussels’s Sorry We’re Closed gallery. Like a Waspier version of John Currin (if that’s even possible), they demonstrated that the human body still has more than enough life left in it to sustain creative interest.
Jansson Stegner has a large number of canvasses on show as part of the “Body Language” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. I caught up with him during an interview at the Private Press View earlier in November, and asked him some questions about his work. Due to my fixation with feminism, ways of looking and fetishism I have only included the questions and answers regarding this, which demonstrate the role of the patriarchal gaze in art..
American figurative painter Jansson Stegner is known for a hyperreal, highly stylised aesthetic. His work offers a clear social commentary and presents subversions of gender and power. Peppering his canvases with hidden references, ranging from Old Master painting to Pop Culture, he features in the current Saatchi exhibition, ‘Body Language’, where his works present a moral challenge to the viewer.
Around three-quarters of the works on display are paintings and, unfortunately, not many of them are any good. Most of the works feel too derivative of other styles or stand out as offering nothing different to what we've seen before. The biggest exception is Jansson Stegner whose women reclining in free and relaxed poses starkly contrast with the police uniforms they are wearing.