July 17 - Aug 13, 2017
In partnership with N'namdi Gallery
Stephen Arboite was born in New York City in 1987 to Gaelle and Mario Arboite who ventured separately to America from Haiti in the early 1980s.
Stephen may have reaped the benefits of being born into a cultural Mecca renowned for itsworld-class galleries, museums, and institutes. Or perhaps, Arboite’s father triggered his son’s curiosity for the arts while heading an outreach organization in Brooklyn where city kids were introduced to African, Caribbean, and Latin music, art, and dance. Maybe it was quiet ambition and recognition, assumed while selling sketches to eager schoolmates. Whatever the case, the young artist was compelled.
In 2005 Arboite entered SUNY Purchase for a BFA. In that time Arboite began looking at the works of Marlene Dumas, Wangechi Mutu, Willem de Kooning. His approach to work from then on considered beauty outside of classical aesthetic paradigms and with emphasis on the “ethereal consciousness of the body.” For his desire to capture and harbor spirit, Arboite veered ever so lightly to the abstract and grotesque. As a result his work has taken on a more intuitive quality. In 2010, Arboite spontaneously moved to Miami on a personal quest towards industry and independent artistic exploration, while continuing to develop his signature style of exploring nature, matter, movement, and spirit on paper. The artist typically begins his experiments with a coffee base…layers seem to swim amongst one another in pools and drips tiered with dried pigments, while inks and otherwise diluted colors stream and explode. It’s an orchestral effect, conducted vibrantly.
In 2013, Arboite work was recognized and showcased during Miami Art Basel. The artist continues to live and work in Miami Beach, Florida.
“My work contends with the spiritual transformation and evolution of human consciousness. Bodies are eviscerated; anatomical structures splinter while fluids spatter. Form is purged and abstracted for the instinctual visualization of my subjects’ true nature. What emerges is aura, or pure spiritual essence, free of embodiment and all its limitations and conventions. I am compelled to try to capture what cannot be caught.
My staining technique provides for fluidity, harmony, and liberation, while leaving a subtle trace of my process. Grounded coffee, metallic powders, and organic pigments swirl, pool, settle, and converge to form the strokes that further delineate the subject matter. Streaks, speckles and splotches detail the molecular frenzy of such transformations while alluding to subconscious escape. They tell a story that is constantly unfolding.
Paper allows a further engagement with the process and its medium. For me, the experience is cathartic. The spontaneous and unforgiving nature of paper gives birth to anamorphic beings which vaguely arise in conception, yet are concrete in projection. As such I act as a medium or key, unlocking complex emotional and spiritual states of being.”