Maryland Institute College of Art, MICA, Baltimore, MD BFA
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About Stephen Spartana
Stephen Spartana received a BFA in Photography from MICA after 11 years, in and out of undergrad programs, a baseball scholarship, and 3 years working in a steel mill to raise the tuition for art school, graduating in 1983.
After graduation, realizing its more rewarding to get paid for what you love than not get paid, he pursued a commercial photography career, spending 2 years as a photographer’s assistant before going out on my own. All the while, creating images for personal satisfaction and artistic growth remained a constant. He had grown up admiring the works of Cartier-Bresson for his “decisive moment”, Pete Turner who said that the transparency “isn’t the end but thee beginning” and last but certainly not least he loved the painting of Georgia O’Keefe, especially her close-up flower paintings. In the mid to late 80’s he started work on a series entitled “Human Nature”, which fortunately resulted in a show at the Gomez Gallery in 1994. At that time his art work needed to take a backseat to an increasingly busy commercial career, marriage to my wonderful wife Lisa and then the adoption of my amazing girls, Corinne and Sophie. Briefly there was a stint raising alpacas, his first livestock experience, but as his girls grew up and started college he choose to return to his first love, creating beautiful imagery.
He now refocused, and while continuing his commercial photography there was more time to put his artwork out there. Once again starting from where he left off, working with the human figure, nature and the melding of the two. Drawing on influences from impressionist painters, figurative photographers and abstract artists, his current work utilizes a number of images which function in the same way that painters use their brushes and palette of paints. His tools are a combination of various analog films mixed with digital media. The intention is to create a provocative image, a complex and dynamic blend that engages the viewer but most importantly makes him happy.