About the Artist
Shanghai-based artist Stephanie Barenz, creates mixed media works inspired by the layered experience of moving between point A and point B. Her work merges photography, printmaking, painting and collage.
Barenz received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Before living in China, she taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and ran her own studio + gallery in Milwaukee, WI. She completed residencies at the Art Students League of New York, Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative and the Pfister Hotel in Wisconsin. Selected exhibitions include the Art Canton Contemporary Art Fair in Guangzhou, Solonia Art Center in Suzhou, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin Artist Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, John Michael Kohler Art Center, and the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee. Barenz has taught art internationally and has presented on the topic of “Collaboration in Art Education” at conferences in Hong Kong and Taipei.
My art is about the layered experience of moving from point A to point B, be it a short walk or a lifelong journey. I have found that creating and moving are similar in the way that they can both disorientate and give direction to their participant. This is the paradox that motivates my work.
As an expatriate, I draw from my personal experience of living in Shanghai, China. In my work, the physical act of moving serves as a metaphor for the different internal paths one takes throughout their life. Along with this, water, in its many forms, is a consistent theme in my work because of how it represents these ideas of transition and transformation.
Formally, my work uses several processes, which include printmaking, collage, painting, and digital photography. The subject matter includes imagery of places I am a part of and abstract mark-making. The layered experience of one’s journey influences the way I layer different materials and imagery. Often, I paint over digital collages that I create. My background in printmaking has fostered within me a love for iteration, using matrixes in new ways, and the playfulness and chance involved with creating.