Steve Green

May 13/14

Born, lives, and works in the East Bay, Steve Green is an artist, illustrator, and designer that creates stark, abstract narrative drawings and prints. Informed by his illustration and design work, his art attempts to define what makes us human- in the ways that can be perceived as well as what is hidden from our senses. He received his MFA in 1999 from Mills College, and has exhibited his work throughout North America and Australia.

I’m interested in what defines us as humans- in the ways that can be perceived, and the ways that are hidden from view, as well as the narrative that is cast by that definition.

Recent research in the human microbiome has concluded that every individual’s microbiome extend past their body; that we all exist within an imperceptible ‘microbial cloud’ which is as unique to each person as their fingerprints or DNA. Intrigued by this research, I created a body of work based on found mugshots of the 1920’s, complete with each person’s microbial profile. Created a few years before the onset of the Covid pandemic, I was fascinated by our unique individual invisible profile, and if available or visible to everyone, what it might describe about a person. I was also interested in the inherent narrative formed by these drawings. Who were these people? What were they accused of? Did their microbiome contribute to their accusations, or protect them from what was to come?

I’m interested in the story that is told through an image. And like the microbes in the works described above, I wanted to tell the story of a person in an indirect manner. I began making portraits featuring the hands of those around me. Not only do hands tell a story about a person - the kind of work or activities they are involved in- but through gestural movement speak to the way a person communicates. How the fingers are held, like the posture of the body, are a unique signature of the individual. Focusing on the hands of my subjects, I began looking for specific personality traits, or a trace of their personal history that could be fashioned into an abstract descriptive image. The work resulted in stark, intimate drawings at a magnified scale, abstracting the composition in the process.

Location and Contact Information

Studio or Exhibition Space
247 Frisbie Street, Oakland, CA, USA