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Stephen Sebald b. 1979
Stephen Sebald
b. 1979
Chamber Music (En Meines Herzens)
Charcoal and pastel on paper
6 x 4 inches
Stephen Sebald
Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., New York City
The idea of chamber music was the first to evolve after learning of the theme for this, the Synesthesia show. The idea of different objects, that convey the idea of a chamber to varying degrees was the next. Though I’m a lover of music, and have eclectic tastes, I confess I know very little about it regards to performing, reading, the academic aspects, or anything else other than that I enjoy listening to it. I started by learning a little more about what chamber music is, which is in general, music which can be performed by a small group, typically that which can fit into a small room. This broad definition still allowed for many creative avenues, which I tried to narrow by selecting a musical piece that could be classified as chamber music. This led me to En Meines Herzens Grunde, which is a portion of JS Bach’s St. John Passion. I found a number of variations in modern day recordings, and sheet music for chorale and instrumental arrangements; all seemed to be for a quartet, which is a typical grouping for a chamber setting. I found many translations from German to English for En Meines Herzens Grunde, though the main idea which seems to fit the context of the piece is “from the bedrock (or bottom) of my heart.” This title fit well with my idea of objects made up of chambers, especially, since one that I originally wanted to include was a human heart (model in this case). I think the chambered nautilus is straightforward as well, whereas the skull and book upon which it sits require a broadening of the definition of a chamber to understand the intent. The spools and bobbins of thread in the foreground, made up of white and the three traditional primaries, are a play on the idea of the four strings that would produce the music in the chamber they’ve been placed in.

Inspired by: "En Meines Herzens Grunde" by Johann Sebastian Bach

Stephen was born and raised in Bay City, Michigan.  Some of his earliest memories include drawing with crayons, and wanting to become a cartoonist because of various cartoons and Sunday comics.  Once this initial interest in art lead him to dig deeper, he became more interested in Old Master paintings.  Art continued to play a role in his life to various degrees and when high school graduation approached and he needed to focus on a career, he chose to enroll in the art program at the local community college.  At first he was excited by the new information he learned, however once he later enrolled in the art program at the university level, he was told repeatedly that realistic and representational art had run its course, and there was little to no future in art regardless the style or medium.  After earning his BFA, Stephen turned to “normal” careers in construction and as an auto mechanic, though his interest in art was later rekindled.  He began researching and found there was still an audience for the artwork he loved as well as artists supporting themselves making it.  This ultimately led him to Ani Art Academy Waichulis in Pennsylvania, where he now studies to develop his skills and hone his technique to enable him to communicate with an audience which shares his love.

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