Steve Clevenger

Catharsis / kə ’thär səs /

A. The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions, by bringing them to consciousness and affording them expression, primarily through art

B. Purgation

My style is representational and often realistic, though including elements of the surreal that help to express the idea at the heart of a given concept. I work in both clay and paint, choosing the medium or combination of media I deem most appropriate to the expression. My intent is to be both descriptive and evocative at once.

The subject matter that most intrigues me is figurative. In the visual arts, I find no subject to be more evocative and provocative than the human form. Body language, facial expression, human action and interaction, all reveal much of what is knowable about the human condition. Arising as it often does from my subconscious, I believe that most of my best work deals with archetypal imagery that reflects some very common experiences, questions, feelings, and fears. This speaks to the cathartic and purgative nature of the work: I'm exploring and expressing my own nature—even its darkest corners—as I reflect on the greater scope of human experience. The results can often be darkly comic, occasionally ironic, and sometimes even confrontational. In the end, though, I hope my work can be considered affirmations of human flexibility and resilience in the face of the complicated, fragile, often conflicting attributes that make us most vulnerable.


At the moment I’m an artist in search of a more defined path. Or perhaps just in search of a medium. As can be confirmed by a glance at the WORK page on this site, I’ve been dabbling in multiple media for years, bouncing from clay to oil paint to watercolor and whatever seems new and interesting to play with, while I hope for a light to go off in my head that “This Is The One!” But my efforts have been scattershot and less than committed. My goal at this stage of life is to spend more time in the studio and to focus for periods on specific media, in order to explore which of them brings me the most satisfaction, the greatest joy, despite whatever headaches and heartbreaking failures I will inevitably encounter. I hope that by committing to more disciplined time in the studio I will be able to choose a mode of artistic expression with which I identify, and build a more substantive and consistent body of work.