Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Steven Thomas Deo...


... we just lost a talented individual who was pushing/breaking the boundaries of Native American Art. I met him at the Institute of American Indian Arts when I was working on my Senior Project for my BFA. He came to do a lecture on his work, and during said lecture he had mentioned that his father or grandfather (I don't remember which) had been a driver for the country-swing master Bob Wills. After the lecture I ran over to him to see if he would come take a look at the paintings that I had been working on. He didn't seem interested, but I asked if he would just take a few minutes to look and give me his opinion. The first thing he said was, "These are so flat, they are just too flat." There was one painting in particular that he did gravitate towards, and it was the one that I was working on just for fun. It was a collaborative painting between myself and my pal Mike. We took turns painting each other out with imagery and then layers of diluted color and medium, it had been building up for about 2 weeks at that point. Steve thought that it was the best painting out of all of them. I laughed and told him that it was more of an experiment than anything else. He then took another look at the other paintings and gave me advice on certain colors and methods and the usual dry stuff painters love to throw at each other. He grabbed a small panel and painted it to show me some of what he was talking about, and in truth it stuck. It is selfish of me to think back of one instance in the life of a man who did so much, but it is my memory of him and I'm glad I took a chance to meet this amazing artist who we have lost. Thanks Steve.

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