Beau Stanton’s work is decorative, surreal, and a bit cryptic upon closer inspection. The Brooklyn native released his latest body of work at Gallery Hijinks in San Francisco entitled “Sanguine Machine”, which highlights Stanton’s skills as a painter and artist. For the past few years, Beau has honed his artistic talent while playing the role of assistant to pop surrealist Ron English. There is no doubt that there has been a bleed over in ideas and methods, and it is clear Beau has applied what he’s learned and evolved it into his own aesthetic. Overall his work is extremely strong, with an eye for the details and strong composition, this is most definetely an artist to keep an eye on.
We sat down with Beau recently to discuss his work, his techniques, and where he’s headed…
1. Can you tell us about your latest body of work “Sanguine Machine”?
The content and imagery are rooted in my fascination with history, industrialization, and the apocalypse. I chose to focus the show on the cyclical nature of creation and destruction through iconic symbols that were widely used in the 19th century. This past year I’ve been exploring abandoned turn of the century sites around NYC to collect reference photos and artifacts that were used to created the images in the show (check it out on my blog here: www.beaustantonart.blogspot.com). The dynamics between beauty and degradation, creation and destruction, past and present are what most interest me lately and are used in the work to bring about a hopeful outlook in a strange and bleak time.
2. What first made you want to become an artist, and how has your career thus far evolved?
I’ve always been obsessed with drawing and painting since I can remember so I don’t think there was a specific moment when I decided to be an artist rather I had been doing it for so long that I figured I would just go with it. I got my BFA then worked in freelance illustration before moving to New York where I started assisting Ron English. Next I started curating pop-up exhibtions on the East and West coast before finding gallery representation.
3. You also play the role of assistant to artist Ron English, what’s it like working under such a prolific artist? What have you learned from him?
Working with Ron is definitely the most interesting job I’ve ever had. Showing up to his studio in the morning I never know if we’re going to be carrying camouflage painted deer decoys through the forest or throwing buckets of milk off a ladder for a reference photo. I’ve probably absorbed more than I realize but the most noticeable takeaways have to do with the expansion of my palette using more adventurous color combinations as well as a solid work ethic without relying on ‘inspiration’.
4. Can you tell us a bit about your process? What mediums you prefer to use?
I am first and foremost an oil painter but lately I’ve been working with collage and screen printing to create more elaborate designs in my backgrounds. Installation sculptures are a fun departure for me every now and again which gives me a chance to be less precious and nail old things together and break glass. I’d like to do more of that.
5. What’s next for Beau Stanton?
Right now I’m preparing for some group exhibitions in October at Last Rites in NYC and Gallery 58 in Jersey City as well as my next solo show in April 2012 at Bold Hype Gallery in New York.
– Interview and photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian
For more on “Sanguine Machine” at Gallery Hijinks visit: http://www.galleryhijinks.com/shows/sanguine-machine
For more on the art of Beau Stanton, visit: http://www.beaustanton.com/