2022 Graduation Portfolio Exhibition
My name is Stephen Wisebaker, aka Iche. I am originally from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY and now live in Dayton, OH. I like to be able to control my life, but it doesn't always turn out that way. I use art as a creative outlet and to manage my mental health. My working process comes from my desire to find comfort and order in chaos.
I am a mixed media artist working with pencils, pens, pastels, paints, and inks. I begin my artwork using automatic process such as decalcomania, a technique of transferring splattered ink from one sheet of paper to another. Next, I try to impose structure on these spontaneously created surfaces by adding triangles, lots of circular motions, vibrant colors, and heavy textures. In this way, my art becomes a diary of my life.
My artwork represents illusions of reality like our own. I shift that reality through each art piece depending on the mood I am going for. I often close my eyes, escape to that small place in my mind, and explore these weird ideas that I try to capture in my artworks. I have found that I do not always have control of the world around me and I take great comfort in what I can control. Similar to an Orchestra, I conduct the lines, colors, scale, mood, patterns, and so much more in a piece as an artist.
Within my artwork, I use characters primarily to be viewed as shape and pattern within the composition. Those characters also lend themselves to an open-ended narrative for my audience to interpret. Despite the horrible truths that can be encountered in our reality, I like to create vibrant escapes to put minds at ease when viewing my work. My artwork is primarily very cheerful, but occasionally ventures into a darker theme. My palette is almost typically saturated and fun. The lines I create explore different textures and rhythm within my work. I open my art with bright colors and happy characters to give an escape to the grey world we live in. I hope my art can give a bright moment to people having a bad day.
I’ve always gravitated towards drawing portraits of people. There are countless
stories that can be told just through the figure or a person's face. Each person carries
themselves and their emotions differently, I could spend countless hours studying them.
Drawing portraits means I get to highlight and appreciate different facial features. I’ve also
learned how sad a person can look without even seeing their face, just the back of their
head and an arm can appear lonely.
Charcoal has also worked its way into my heart. I feel I can get the lightest and most
saturated expressions with charcoal. I often find myself mindlessly grinding it into the
background of my pieces, alleviating any stress. No matter how many times this versatile
medium stains my carpets and fingernails, I’ll keep reaching for it whenever I make