I have been a fan of Stephen Hansen’s art for many years.
I find his work humorous but with a message. Also, what makes him stand out in the world of fat art is that most of his figures are male – something I would like to see more of in fat art. I am a fan of the wonderful art celebrating the fat female body – but the fat male body is disappointingly not as evident.
Most of Hansen’s figures have “heft” to them. Some are rounder than others, but most are of a body type many would consider fat.
Most of his male figures are typical white businessmen. But they aren’t steeped in masculinity. They are vulnerable (whether they know it or not – and when they don’t know it, it just makes them even more vulnerable) and somewhat guileless. The female characters are more worldly and clearly in charge.
Here is what the artist has to say:
As an artist I am not an explorer of the human condition, so much as a
hapless tourist, making snapshots of whatever strikes my fancy. I work
primarily in paper mache [sic], the appeal of which is twofold. First, it is fast
enough that I can try out ideas without any sense of commitment.
Secondly, it is a material so inherantly [sic] humble that I can claim to make
“cultural icons” or “distilled social observations” without feeling too
pretentious. Stylistically, I think of my work as lifelike rather than realistic,
a choice made out of a desire to represent ideas rather than individuals.
I make sculpture with the idea that it should both attract and communicate,
towards that end, I try to make art that is intellectually accessible and
aesthetically seductive. I approach my work day as though I were the
director of a small reparatory [sic] company, with a group of actors that I costume
and coerce into the characters of the story I want to tell. They tend toward
Artist Statement ll
You should never trust an artist who makes a statement, except under
He has an amazing series featuring painters on scaffolding – they are workmen going about their day, but they are creating famous works of art. These are amazing and funny at the same time. There are so many of these that I gave up on trying to capture them all for my Pinterest page. https://www.pinterest.com/terriweitze/fat-figures-stephen-hansen/
Here are some of my favorites: