#BABEALERT: STEPHANIE K KANE, ARTIST
Stephanie and I met purely by chance. In the ONLY art gallery in Croydon, I asked the cute blonde behind the counter who had painted a piece I was really drawn to. She excitedly said 'oh that's mine!' and we've been mates ever since.
I wanted to start a series to showcase women (#babealert) that I meet and know that are absolute BABES. What constitutes a babe? Someone who is kicking ass, being successful and generally providing major #goals inspo for us all, everyday.
Steph has all of the qualities that you look for in a babe. She's really fucking cool without ever really knowing it. She's random and abstract as all great artists are, and she's not afraid to show vulnerability and get expressive. She's supremely talented without any of the ego - except when it's needed of course.
I love Steph's work. It's different to what 'trendy' right now and I love her for that. Every great artist has created something different and unexpected and I love the irreverent attitude that comes through in her work. It's really feminine, yet doesn't take any shit at the same time. Sound like anyone else you know?!
Steph's also pretty accomplished having already had her work exhibited at 3 of the Tate's and done numerous collaborations with the Regent Street Apple store who projected her artwork onto a giant wall and also invited her down to do some live digital drawings. Pretty cool no?
I've interviewed Steph on the blog before, but I thought I'd ask her some updated questions about her new exhibition of work 'Hand Twins' and her brand new Soho studio space.
Who I choose to draw:
Recently it’s just been women. I have no answer to why the males have been kicked out of the process for a bit but why not? I prefer to draw people I know, more is captured for more than face value. With the Hand Twin drawings, it’s the first time I’ve started drawing images that I’ve come across online or in magazines. I come across the images and feel like I need to run and recreate them.
Why do I like hands?:
You can tell so much about someone by the hands. What they do with them or what they’ve done to them. You can see the weakness in them or where they have been picked out of anxiousness or throw about in the air when over excited. I think it’s the one part of our bodies that are constantly on show that we haven’t worked out a way to disguise yet. That’s nice.
On hand drawings:
Hand Twins and its drawings is centred around my closest friend admitting to me that she hated looking at my hands ‘because they’re gross. ‘ My hands are small, stubby, usually stained with paint, cut, tattooed and there are probably 6 year olds with bigger nails than me. I like my hands, they’re not classy or feminine but they work.
How come I paint myself a lot?
I’m here, I’m always readily available to film myself to get a good shot to work from. I usually have some sort of mental image of how the finished piece will look so I find it easier to re-create the imagined finished piece if I use myself. Sometimes, I hear my old art tutor telling me off for painting myself again, I get a pang of ‘Is this narcissistic?’. Maybe painting myself is just a really long way to get a better selfie.. I’m sure it’s not.
On my studio:
This is my first studio and it’s in the heart of Soho! I’ve missed so many opportunities to have space because I couldn’t afford it or it was so far away from where I live. I was getting to the stage that I even started Googling universities to apply for just so I could use the studio space. I used to constantly dream about being in such a tiny space and then right at the end I’d open a door and walk in to this massive room that I could paint in. I feel like that’s exactly what has happened.
I go there 4-5 times a week, I do admin and some drawings at home in the mornings and then go paint there till late, sometimes I’ll do a drawing or two when I get back. I feel like it’s absolute luxury and still laugh when I tell people.
*I can testify to this - Step told me about this exact dream months before she got offered the studio space. Law of attraction or what?! Maybe she's a magician as well as an artist?!*
MY FIRST SOLO SHOW WILL NOT BE A RETROSPECTIVE
This piece was projected across the walls of the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern in June 2016 to celebrate the opening of the new side of the museum.
I created it in response to ‘What is the future of art?’
I looked at this as, ‘What is my future in art?’ I wanted my future to be treated equally to other genders. It’s been documented through time that women are usually given solo shows that look back on their work after they die rather than followed through out their lives as artists like men are. I didn’t want to be dead before my work was celebrated, that’s boring. The piece has been retitled to: MY FIRST SOLO SHOW WAS NOT A RETROSPECTIVE.