|"Tumult" 2009 oil canvas 45"x55"|
|"Ort" 2009 oil canvas 45"x57"|
|Afterimage #3, 2012, mixed media on paper, 31" x 31"|
|Afterimage #7, 2012, mixed media on paper, 34" x 30"|
|Afterimage #9, 2012, mixed media on paper, 52" x 70"|
Steve Hudson's figures are faceless, anonymous stand-ins for a humanity that is hunkered down, knocked down, fallen down and cast aside. The atmosphere is full ominous storm clouds or the billowing plumes of fire and explosion. It all sounds terribly dire, but somehow, the work is neither shocking nor jarring. It is actually quite appealing. There is a warmth to them that belies their content. I think it has something to do with the tenderness of his technique. The shapes are carefully drawn in soft curving lines, the compositions are simple and well-balanced, and the scenes lit with an appealing drama. The occasional appearance of animals seems to hint at some allegory of nature. Possibly a reference to our wreckless impact on global ecosystems. But they don't feel like warnings. They feel like reassurances, comforting companions to those ever woeful human beings. It's as if they were there to say, "yes, you are destroying so much, not least yourselves, but nature will go on. Don't worry on it's account. Poor lost humanity. You may be despondent about your chances. Nature can't assess it. But nature will see you through to the end no matter how it all turns out. Cheer up". There's more than a hint of melanchloy in these paintings, but it's the kind of melancholy one wants to engage in, not the horrid depression that sours all life and joy. It's that sweet sadness that makes you feel more alive for embracing it. But then again, maybe that's just me. I could make neither heads nor tails of his artist statement.
You can view more of his work at Peter Miller Gallery in Chicago.