Jansson Stegner 2015 Deutsche Bank NYFA Fellow

Deutsche Bank is pleased to announce that Jansson Stegner is the 2015 recipient of the Deutsche Bank Fellowship Award, administered through the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

Since 2000, the Bank has partnered with NYFA to annually award an artist who works on paper with a Deutsche Bank Fellowship. The award helps artists who live in New York State expand upon or create new projects, to buy needed materials or simply to pay rent. In addition, the Bank purchases art- works by selected fellows for the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Selection is based on merit by a panel of experts invited each year by Deutsche Bank, and chosen from a short list of candidates compiled by NYFA jurors. The NYFA jurors are artists, professors, and other experts in the field who are not connected to a museum. Since the awards launched in 1985, NYFA has granted over USD 27 million across 15 artistic disciplines.

Jansson Stegner, whose drawings are currently on view at 60 Wall Gallery, has always been interested in figurative art “that is grounded in realism yet isn't confined by its rules.” Social indicators of power are confused in Stegner’s intentionally mannered paintings of languid bodies bent into sculptural forms and exaggerated by impossibly thin limbs and waists. His playful reversals of gender, power, beauty and strength displace the expected. Traditional roles are subverted - the urban environment is a pastoral one, the tough are coy.

In both his drawings and paintings, Stegner depicts a physical and emotional awkwardness that heightens the psychological charge. He greatly admires painting predecessors who make what he calls ”weird figuration,” such as Egon Scheile, James Ensor and Balthus. Odd settings, guns, and activities of the bored and over-privileged also hint at the political satires and cartoons of Fernando Botero, Francisco Goya, George Grosz and Otto Dix.

Says the artist: “My paintings are typically not portraits of actual individuals. I often have specific characteristics I want the figure to have and it can be difficult to find a person who embodies all of them so I usually use a combination of different people. Instead of looking at an individual and trying to capture their essential qualities in a representation, I start with my own ideas of what I want the figure to feel like and then take bits and pieces from different sources to construct what I am after. In that way, I guess my paintings are the opposite of portraits. They are not a reflection of reality, but a suggestion of what reality could be.”

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Jansson Stegner, "Cop Leaning on a Tree," 2010, oil on linen