Stephen Buxton views the upcoming celebration of his 60th birthday as a time to reflect on the thought processes that have been weaving through his artwork for the past decade. He’s re-visited earlier works in his studio, looking for common threads and new ideas that are integrated into his mixed media pieces.
Buxton has selected a group of mixed media pieces for his show “Ten Years On: 2008-2018,” which opens at 5 p.m. at David Rothermel Contemporary on August 17.
“I’m curious about what the viewer makes of the work,” says Buxton, who uses all kinds of items, including rubber, latex house paint, cut paper, pages from old discarded books and found objects, in his pieces. “I believe that the viewer finishes the work.”
An artist who was born in Los Angeles and studied drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics in L.A., Buxton worked as a store window designer in southern California in the 1980s. “Window displays were my canvas,” he adds.
During the 25 years he’s been living in Santa Fe, he’s had two full time jobs-one as a gallery director and the other as a practicing artist.
“I work very spontaneously,” Buxton says about his creative process. “I don’t like to overwork a concept. I am very concerned about the issues of shape, placement, balance, color and negative space with the intention of using only minimal material but at the same time allowing for an intricate and detailed composition.”
Even though Buxton relishes a spontaneous approach to his art, he’s deliberate in his work. He often spends quite a long time thinking about an idea he has for a new piece before working on it. He could have an idea in his head for one year before he executes it. When the piece is finished, it may turn out to be quite different from his original idea.
Sand paper is one of Buxton’s favorite materials. “I just love it,” he says. “It has a visual texture. Light reflects off it in a way that creates an interesting tone.”