24 х 24 in. (60.96 x 60.96 cm.)
Everything is Shit Except you Love
20in x 20in
Known for his colorful lettering, delivering witty messages that merge sign painting, graffiti, word and image, Stephen Powers has become a prominent and easily recognizable figure on the graffiti art scene, creating a new form of public art that is at once intimate and global. This 11-color silkscreen is an ofshoot of Stephen Powers' "Love Letter" project, which he began in 2009, writing this and other messages on public surfaces in various cities. In Powers’ hometown of Philadelphia, A Love Letter for You, funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, emblazoned 50 walls along the Market-Frankford elevated train line that together formed a love letter, meant for one but with meaning for all. Similar projects followed in 2010 in Syracuse, New York, São Paulo, Brazil, and most recently Vardo, Norway, again incorporating community input and local talent.
Stephen Powers (b. 1968) was raised in Philadelphia, where he graduated from University of the Arts before relocating to New York City in 1995. He and his contemporaries like Shepard Fairey and Damien Hirst came to represent a generation of artists defined by the groundbreaking 2004 exhibition “Beautiful Losers”. Powers' alias ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach) won him notoriety not only in the graffiti world, but also helped establish him in the contemporary art world. Making signs as art, and art as signs, has been a central feature of Powers work since his earliest days writing graffiti in Philadelphia. When he grew out of graffiti and into sign painting, he explains he “saw the strength of starting with the center, working with the businesses, the locals, the legitimate people, and broadcasting out to the periphery, where all my former associates were, in the shadow-land of graffiti.” In recent years, Powers began showing work in notable galleries such as New York City's Deitch Projects. In 2005, he organized the "Dreamland Artist's Club", a project which allowed professional artists to help Coney Island vendors by repainting their signs. Soon after, Powers was the recipient of the Fulbright Prize (2007) and spent six months working in Ireland, creating public artwork with the help of local teenagers from troubled areas in Dublin and Belfast. In 2008 Powers returned to Coney Island where he installed the "Coney Island Waterboarding Thrill Ride". In the summer of 2009, Powers embarked on his "Love Letter" project. Responses to Powers' artwork have been featured numerous times in publications such as Juxtapoz, Artforum, and The NY Times. His work has recently been the subject of solo shows at Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, NY (2012); V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2009); Alice Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2009); Patricia Armocida Gallery, Milan, Italy (2008); and Deitch Projects, New York, NY (2004). Powers currently lives and works in Manhattan.