Steven Tritt

“Hand Soul Coordination” is what I call my art-making process because I work in a gestural, spontaneous manner and welcome unplanned results.  My art involves symbiotic relationships with polar elements such as:  content and subject matter, representation and abstraction, beauty and ugliness, conscious and unconscious approach to picture-making, physical and mystical, order and chaos. This balancing act, whether one calls it an investigation, an exploration or a spiritual journey, is an attempt to fuse elements into a cohesive arrangement (not order).  While I feel my artist statements are works in progress, they are an integral part of the overall artistic process which involves answering the big questions like “Why do I paint what I paint?” and “What am I trying to say?”  It occurs to me that all my life I’ve tried to create this symbiosis between opposites like good and bad. I seek balance, evenness.

I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1990 with a Master of Fine Arts. After that my work literally went underground as each studio I had was in a basement. While I continued to work on my art, my life choice of raising my children took priority, and I did not exhibit after 1993.

This changed in 2008 when I was invited to enter a juried art fundraiser for Inspiration Corporation in Chicago.  Not only did they accept three of my pieces, but one was awarded first place in the emerging artist category.  Building on this success I began to exhibit regularly, and have since then.

One aspect that came from my experience with Inspiration Corporation was meeting Chicago Pop Artist, Peter Mars.  Peter has provided guidance into what the life of a professional artist is like and has developed into a major supporter of my work.  His painting has in turn become influential on mine.

My work has changed significantly since 2008 when my subject was primarily landscape in nature.  I now blend landscape, writing and figurative elements in my paintings and drawings.  This often involves the overlapping of images, some of which are unrelated, to create compositions.  My ever expanding images include natural elements like trees, leaves, wild flowers and birds, the human figure, images from fashion magazines, self-portraits, African masks, historical images like the Statue of Liberty, and musical instruments- specifically guitars and cellos.  My media has expanded beyond paint, pastels and charcoal, to using more ink and untraditional materials like sawdust and sand.  Wood, water and land are also being incorporated both as a choice of material and in visual representation.  While my work is personal and distinctive, recognizable images in my content are not literal.  We see things in layers and I am trying to express this notion.  Pictorial elements are channeled through the unconscious, subverting representation and creating visual transcendence of the traditional understanding of the image.