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Stefan Dunlop, Alumni 2001

Stefan Dunlop, a New Zealand native, studied at the Studio School in 2001.  His parents stopped in the offices the other day and dropped off his new catalogue for a large exhibition of paintings at the University of Texas entitled, “Stefan Dunlop: Ten Years.”  The catalogue has a great interview with Jason D. Szalla, and of course strong images of some of his new work.  See below a few excerpts from the interview, and several images of his work.  Visit Stefan’s site, http://stefandunlop.com/index.htm.

Excerpts from Interview with Jason D. Szalla- Beyond the New York School

J.D. Who are your artistic precursors?

S.D. Everybody, I think I’m very much aware of the tradition of western painting and my place in it. You are not alone with painting as it’s a game played by yourself and with others.  There is an element of competitiveness.

J.D. What other artist/ artists or art has affected you?

S.D. Well that drifts around depending on what particular series I’m involved with at a particular time.  Perhaps a constant is that I like to look at all work available across history up to and including the present giving equal weight to say Rubens as to Neo Rauch.  The point being one eye on the contemporary and one on history.  I’m not so fixated on the contemporary.

J.D. You have a degree in finance? Banking? Does this inform your painting in anyway?

S.D. Nope.

J.D. As far as your New York Studio School studies… did you enjoy your time there?

S.D. Yeah that was crazy. It was important for me as it was my first step in a conscious decision to become a full-time painter. It was funny and reminded me of the early 80s show “Fame”, everybody getting around with egos and ambitions far outweighing their realities. The teaching was good and I met my first serious art people.  The Studio School taught a fundamental, observationist based figurative style and that discipline has stuck with me.

I remember I was standing outside the school there one morning with a friend. Somebody walked by dissing us by saying “wannabe artists”. My mate turned to me and said, “yeah he’s right, we do want to be artists…”

…There are very few people who really know what good painting is and if you set out your stall as a painter you have to believe that you have a pretty good idea about it.  So you measure your work and its success against other painter’s work, not against what is said about their work or where it is hung etc. but against good work. You know what this is; you see it because with painting you use your eyes, not your mouth.  So you go into a gallery and see a de Kooning that blows you away think shit I need to lift my game, or you see a Stephen Bush and think okay, there is an entirely new level of colour there.  This is how it works. The Whole painting thing is held together by a very small number of good painters.”

Snapshots From NYSS

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