On paper, a decade is a long time. When you live it, ten years flash past in the blink of an eye. The last ten years of my professional life have seen me evolve, develop, and cultivate my unique vision in the realm of creative direction. Focused on décor, fashion and lifestyle, my natural artistic flair has allowed me to innovate and redefine industry expectations, using what I term “experiential design”.
With an eye for creating dynamic and inspirational set designs for magazine cover shoots, editorial photo shoots, theatre, art, film and events, my work has proved popular with a wide variety of media fans, and has been featured in various print publications and on television shows.
Born and raised in Johannesburg, I am passionate about my home country. After studying at the world-renowned Central St Martins College of Arts & Design living and working in the UK, I returned to South Africa and rediscovered my love of art. My ultimate goal is to make my unique stamp on the art world.
“A love for what you do will give intimate meaning to one’s self and allow others to share your creations.”
Stephen Graham’s pin artwork pushes the boundaries of exploration and experimentation with a play on light, shadow and form. Intrigued by negative space and how this translates into interesting compositions, he constructs precise three-dimensional works of art with his innovative “pin” technique.
With a special interest in sculptural art and POP art culture, Stephen’s reference to these movements can be found within his choice of everyday objects and mass-produced images.
His works are a visual eruption of glowing colour and everyday subject matter that the viewer can relate to and interpret on a personal level. His use of materials challenges your eye and forces you to look beyond just an object or a subject. Besides aesthetic richness, each piece introduces nuance, thought-provoking depth and a unique perspective. His work not only has a sense of irony, but also a sense of humour.
Playing with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS allows Graham to play with an array of colour choice, lifting his selected subject matter. He has the ability to transform a hard edge pin and iconic image into something which takes on a life of its own as it gains a sense of light, body, depth and movement. The overall effect is intelligent, eye catching and radiant. Using SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS, Graham is able to produce unique artworks by utilising different stones to create an inimitable look, feel and meaning. Even with the use of a template, no two pieces will ever look the same. Each has its own identity, character and energy.
Nostalgia, mass culture and iconic objects such as an Ice Cream and Rubber Duck, Handgun or Lips often pose open-ended questions to the viewer. These questions are not only created by the subject matter, but also by the title of each pin art work.
Stoned Cold and Dollie Duck represent an iconic silhouette crafted by hard edge office pins. Strategically selected pinheads have been individually encrusted with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS, giving the work a subtle shimmer and a bold “bling” effect. These artworks ask an innocent playground question, yet at the same time they pose many not so innocent questions to the viewer.
Stoned Cold, portrays a soft served ice cream with a cherry on top. This image conjures up different feelings, memories and emotions for each viewer, but one cannot ignore the title and wonder if I’m making reference to addictions.
SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS on Mmmmmm creates a mouth watering image of juicy plush red lips. SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS allow these lips to play with the viewers emotions, and hints at a subtle sexuality and flirtation aided by the use of colour, reflection and combinations of stones.
A handgun titled Calamity Jane, which represents violence and death, has now been turned into something powerful, beautiful, delicate, ornamental and feminine by using soft SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS colours.
The visual impact of the works combined with the subtle criticism of our consumer culture, questionable democracy and social structures, makes for a fascinating collection that entices not only the eye, but also the mind.