American figurative painter Jansson Stegner is known for a hyperreal, highly stylised aesthetic. His work offers a clear social commentary and presents subversions of gender and power. Peppering his canvases with hidden references, ranging from Old Master painting to Pop Culture.
"My paintings are typically not portraits of actual individuals. I often have specific characteristics I want the figure to have and it can be difficult to find a person who embodies all of them so I usually use a combination of different people. Instead of looking at an individual and trying to capture their essential qualities in a representation, I start with my own ideas of what I want the figure to feel like and then take bits and pieces from different sources to construct what I am after. In that way, I guess my paintings are the opposite of portraits. They are not a reflection of reality, but a suggestion of what reality could be." JS
In the series "Commissioned Portraits", Jansson Stegner operates in the same way, in the exception near that the models are people who exist, in flesh, in bone, and who the same request sends him all: represent me! But the artist reserves the right about what he speaks, to combine various narrative or trivial elements which add to the misappropriation of the simple reality. Because indeed, who could imagine without these portraits that some devote to trivial pleasures, that some show themselves of an at the same time lascivious and sexy femininity, revealed by the uniform of police, rider or sportswoman with whom Stegner likes adorning the women for a long time. They are themselves but could all as well beings of others. These personal, intimate commands deliver their confidentiality in everybody's view, with modesty, because as says it Jansson, it is about a suggestion… And not of reality at which we look in this exhibition.