Steven Russell Black is an artist from San Rafael, California. Originally from Ohio, Steven graduated with a BFA at the Columbus College of Art and Design where he studied under instructors such as C. F. Payne and Joh Jude Palencar. Steven works in graphite, colored pencils, and oils. His surrealistic work is inspired by horror fiction and comic books allowing his pieces to feel like stories graphically depicted with deep emotion and incredible detail. When asked about what influences his recent work and why he finds fish so appealing this is what he had to say:
When I see many of your pieces they feel reminiscent of 1980’s iconic poster art from the likes of Jaws, Aliens, and Halloween. How do these particular types of films pertain to your work today? I grew up watching a lot of TV while drawing. I didn’t see the poster art for a lot of the sci- fi and horror movies until I went to college. My biggest influences where 80’s cartoons and comics early on and work by the surrealist painter Dali.
I feel you definitely have an interest in subterranean-aquatic creatures. What I love about some of your work is the fluidity and organic form. What is it about these creatures that have lead you to create a continued presence in your work? I was a sickly kid for the most part, but my parents drug me to the lake on most weekends in the summer in Ohio. I’d draw while my dad was fishing. I used to catch the fish and use ink to make prints of them on cardboard. I did this before I knew it was a long tradition in Japan – so fish where one of the first things I starting drawing from life. They where my first experiences with life and death. I caught, drew, cleaned, and ate them. There are a list of things I never tire of drawing. Fish are in the top five. They’ll fascinate me for the rest of my life.
You recently curated a show honoring the wonderful world of H.P. Lovecraft. What was it like to curate the show and was it difficult to find artists who adore Lovecraft’s horror fiction work as much as you? I love curating shows. You get your friends and artists you admire to do their take on subjects you love. It’s the most fun to go to that opening night and bring all that creative energy to a given topic. It’s really moving in a way I can’t describe, only feel.
Most of the artists in my circle adore Lovecraft. In fact I turned a few people away because the group was so large. But I set it up as an annual show so I’ll get to include more people next year. Bergeron’s Books has been a really supportive place for us to show and sell work. Thanks to Rick and Matt at Bergeron’s Books.
Steven has exhibited in various art shows. He recently curated his annual H.P. Lovecraft show presenting works from artists such as Allen Williams, Brynn Metheney, and Jetti Lewis. Steven is a featured artist on the Everyday Original website and he sells much of his work through his active Etsy site. If you would like to follow Steven on social networks, you may do so on Facebook and Instagram or you may email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.