Stephen Spartana received a BFA in Photography from MICA, after 11 years, in and out of undergrad programs, a baseball scholarship, and 3 years working in a steel mill to raise the tuition for art school, graduating in 1983.
After graduation, realizing its more rewarding to get paid for what you love than not, he pursued a commercial photography career, spending 2 years as a photographer’s assistant before going out on his own. All the while, Stephen created images for personal satisfaction and artistic growth. He had grown up admiring the works of Cartier-Bresson for his “decisive moment”, Pete Turner who said that the transparency “isn’t the end but the beginning” and last but certainly not least he loved the painting of Georgia O’Keefe, especially her close-up flower paintings. In the mid to late 80’s he started work on a series entitled “Human Nature”, which fortunately resulted in a show at the Gomez Gallery in 1994. At that time, his art work needed to take a backseat to an increasingly busy commercial career, marriage to his wife Lisa and then the adoption of his daughters, Corinne and Sophie. After as his daughters entered college, he choose to return to his first love, creating beautiful imagery.
Refocused and energized, there was more time to devote to his artwork. He returned to his studies of the integration of the human figure and nature. Drawing on influences from impressionist painters, figurative photographers and abstract artists, his current work utilizes a number of images which function in the same way that painters use their brushes and palette of paints. His tools are a combination of various analog films mixed with digital media. The intention is to create a provocative image, a complex and dynamic blend that engages the viewer and most importantly fuels his creativity.