The Silence of Images / by Steve Schlichtenmyer

A Question of Balance 2, 2016

A Question of Balance 2, 2016

A Question of Balance, 2015

A Question of Balance, 2015

I am completely liberated from figuration, free to invent the subtle and sensual visual dramas I love, with color and scale as my primary subjects. Whether made of paint, paper or photographs, I seek out tactile fragments of color and texture that seem to have a raw poetry about them. I then combine these through a complex process of chance and deliberate choice until the image resonates. Each image is an analog of nature, but not literal representation of it.

The essence of my imagery is silence. I do not wish to illustrate the objective world or to comment on social issues. For me, this distracts from the visual power of the form by opening up an unrelated verbal dialogue in the viewer's mind. Visual meaning is conveyed more powerfully and directly with images than with words. 

Meaning emerges silently while the viewer experiences the image…similar to enjoying an inspiring passage of music or eating something delicious. The best way to understand and find meaning in my work is to avoid seeking explanation and to just experience it. More than anything, I wish for the viewer to partake in the same heightened and authentic moment I had when the image came to life. 

An image must do something, and what it does best, I believe, is to hang on the wall and assert its silence.