The City Breathes
Steven Larson paints cities much the way cities themselves are created. The forming of rich texture through the application of multiple layers in many ways reflects the chosen subject. While capturing the gritty, multi-textured feeling of a large metropolis, Larson adopts a surprisingly lighter pallet, using colors of orange-peach and blue-green.
The cities in these paintings are, like the ghostly figures that inhabit them, transient states of evolution and change. There is a constant transformation reflected as forces from both man and nature build up and tear down the layers that can define or obscure them.
Often in Larson’s work, realism and abstraction co-exists together creating an atmospheric, almost ethereal environment. Both subtle and aggressive marks make up a rich surface quality, exploring numerous ways of getting paint from pallet to canvas. Though Larson's use of paint is free and energetic, the paintings develop slowly, often arriving at colors indirectly through glazes of transparent colors, allowing layers of color to run and drip.
It is this delicate balance between control and non-control, detail against vagueness, opaqueness and transparency, soft edges against hard, that gives the paintings their sensation of quiet participation in a moment of curious and fleeting beauty.