01 February 2010

Stephen Magsig

Stephen Magsig started his blog, “Postcards from Detroit,” in August of 2007. The subject matter is mainly urban landscapes, but take a closer look and you’ll find it is more than just that - similar to good descriptive prose, he is telling the city’s story with his straightforward, honest brush strokes. This brushwork plus his strategic use of composition, hues, and values are showing you the soul of a city with all of its beauty and blemishes. This is a genuine representation using well executed, insightful passages with the artist not glossing over anything and his paintings are the better for it. In this ongoing tome, Mr. Magsig paints Detroit’s cityscapes, roadways and railways and waterways, derelict buildings, industrial buildings, graffiti, bridges, signage, city lights, architectural details, all sorts of flora - you name it. Yes, I used the word “tome”. At the time of me posting this, he has posted 855 paintings. The quality and variation of this staggering body of work proves that the artist’s beloved city offers him an endless amount of interesting subject matter, but it also gives a great lesson in keen observation that all daily painters could learn from. After all, finding subject matter is a major challenge of the daily painting process. Mr. Magsig paints his dailies in oils on linen panels, usually in the neighborhood of 5” x 7”. Some of his paintings run in series such as “Abandoned, Portraits of Detroit”, “City Lights”, “The Urban Alphabet.” The “City Lights” series contains wonderful abstractions of city lights at night. They are abstracts, but they feel realistic - familiar somehow, just as if you are standing in the street seeing the lights for yourself. Can you tell that I like them (and that I might just be daft enough to stand in the middle of a street staring at lights)? I could go into how Mr. Magsig’s large work is also mind-blowingly gorgeous, but that’s a whole other review. Go check out his work for yourself. His blog’s address is www.myartspage.blogspot.com. Happy viewing!