Stephan Wanger

Stephan Wanger

Artist Statement

Stephán is a self-taught artist who channels his creative energy into assembling dazzling mosaics using recycled Mardi Gras beads. In a photo-realistic style, he re-creates scenes of Louisiana to help bring awareness to the world of the innate beauty of the state's unique icons. Stephán engages in a craft that speaks to fine art, borrowing the ideals of Post-Impressionistic Pointillism and emulating the style and scale of Roy Lichtenstein's Pop-Art works. By approaching each piece with superior craftsmanship, Stephán has elevated and brings a level of "high art" to his craft. In preparation of each piece, beads are meticulously sorted by size down to the exact millimeter and perfect shade, creating a detailed and varied palette much like a painter would for painting. The resulting play of light and color recalls several Post-Impressionistic artists' works while adding a new dimension of shine through the use of metallic, plastic and luminescent beads. The illusion of three-dimensional space is often created through the use of perspective, the variety of sizes of the beads he uses to create actual dimension add an element of bas-relief. The works are stunning from distance and upon close inspection of his fine craftsmanship.

Artist Bio

Stephan Wanger is a German citizen, born in Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony. A former baker and a soldier in the German Navy he moved to Chicago in 1990 and graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Marketing Communications in 1994. Stephan is happiest when he can decorate or promote cities to an international audience which he successfully demonstrated in 1994 when he worked for the City of Chicago on the World Cup Soccer Tournament and on the 1996 Democratic National Convention. He directed Chicago's highly visible decoration program for both events, with the purpose of maximizing Chicago's opportunity to promote itself to the World. He worked closely with John David Mooney, lighting the skyscrapers of Chicago. Cycling through New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city - Stephan decided to move to New Orleans permanently to help re-build the city in the summer of 2006. He worked in construction during the day while creating art at night. Noticing how pessimistic the city of New Orleans had become after Katrina nearly destroyed the city, Stephan wanted to promote the city and drawing from his experiences he began to work on his art at night.

Images

  • Journey of a Reverie
    2010
    Beads on Plywood
    62" x 51"
    The Clock Tower of "Journey of a Reverie"
    The Windows of "Journey of a Reverie"
  • Nola's Resilience
    2010
    Beads on Plywood
    99" x 76"
  • The Titillations of New Orleans
    2010
    Beads on Plywood
    99" x 51"
  • My Beauty Underneath
    2010
    Beads on Recycled Door
    88" x 36"
  • Vision of an Immigrant
    2010
    Beads on Recycled Door
    88" x 43"