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Stephen Powers

Philadelphia, PA

I used to write graffiti, and graffiti is boiling down your whole life into one word, then repeating that word in as many ways as you can, until the word fills years like the days on a calendar. When I stopped writing graffiti and started making art, I went from one word to the rest of them. Words are good but people don’t read anymore — witness the proliferation of emojis as a language. Emojis can only say so much, so I combine word and image to depict the entire world. I make paintings like they were originally made, in a dark cave by a person with limited resources and a need to record what is compelling him to be told. I have more resources and data at my disposal, but it’s still dark, and I’m still compelled to draw the light.