Anthony Stevens

Using delicate embroidery on scrap fabrics and other materials, the artist creates raw and playful images. As a child, Anthony Stevens was already surrounded by textiles. Years later, he decided to use a needle and thread as his form of creative expression. His work is made distinct by figurative and comic style portrayals that are embroidered on his chosen fabric and partly sewn together with many layers, out of many different pieces of fabric. His visual perceptions are playful and full of subtext that can be deciphered by the written comments that compliment the figures. The artist, who has studied Nichiren Buddhism, explains that he sees the images in his mind’s eye while chanting the mantra, “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” Roughly translated, the meaning is: “I devote myself to the supreme law of the universe.” During his embroidery work process, the motives develop several levels of meaning. They convey worldly wisdoms or formulated criticism, e.g. consumer behavior in “Black Friday.” In the visual world of Anthony Stevens one can find the amusing, the wondering, and the threatening, as in the recurring motives of a dog, a crowned bird, of penises or combat boots and hand grenades in “Brute Force.” As work material the artist quite intentionally chooses scraps of fabric or stripes and sees himself in the position to find potential in what may seem useless or beyond repair. With this decision, the autodidact sees a very important parallel to his own partly traumatic life and experiences, which he realizes in his works, and describes as “dancing with (his) inner dynamics” – always in search of a constructive rhythm. Anthony Stevens’ works have been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in et al. Frankfurt, Brighton and London.