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“Harlequins and Horribles,” Stephen Eaker figurative paintings

By Béa Aaronson

woman with a book

Harlequin is a complex and perplexing character. The dual nature of his being, both good and evil, welding both life and death, happiness and sadness together, is what Eaker identifies with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome which energizes his creativity: “When Harlequin is not one thing or another, but within a state of neutrality, he personifies an ambiguous state of being, suspended within a brief moment of waiting… for the next response, reason, or stimuli that will determine his path. Tension is greater in that in-between moment, that period of time before one direction or another is chosen.”

“Harlequins and Horribles”
Stephen Eaker figurative paintings
Sat, Feb 15, 4–9pm
La Ostra Roja
A Casa Verde Annex
San Jorge 45
Colonia San Antonio
off Refugio)
More info: 121-1026


Eaker’s Harlequins and his “Horribles,” as he calls his funky figures  — a clin d’oeil to Picasso — resonate within this most fertile in-between moment: “You do not really know if the figure is happy or sad, if the figure is free or confined, predator or prey. Everything in my work remains open and questionable.”

Eaker’s work projects the excitement of mystery and uncertainty, while using a very strong sense of form and color. Whether cubist, fauve or expressionist, his paintings are a perpetual question. And that is what art is all about…questioning. It is up to the viewer to feel and interpret what they see: “There is always a mouse hole in my work that allows for a slip through, an escape.” You cannot remain indifferent to Eaker’s paintings. They will startle you; destabilize you a bit, just enough so you become alive, either by liking or disliking. We are not dealing here with wallpaper designs, mass-produced reheated recipes, or slick hot condo art!

Stephen Eaker was born in 1968 in Shelby, North Carolina. He began to draw with colored pencils at the age of three, thus discovering very early on the emotional force of both line and color, and traveling their infinite expressive journeys. Ludic, serious, happy, sad, caressed, violent, line and color follow Eaker’s emotions and remain the measure of his imagination.

At 13, Eaker discovers Picasso and the School of Paris. His obsession with France and history of art begins. He devours books, images, reproductions as he could not yet taste the reality of the masters in museums or galleries (Shelby is not New York!). A wonderful, fruitful love story with art develops, both history of art and fine art: Delacroix, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Lautrec, Matisse, Braque, the Fauves, the Cubists, Kirchner…Line and color dance in his head, in his hands. He absorbs like a sponge, draws and paints what he sees, learns while inspiring himself from the masters. No anxiety of influence here! We all come from somewhere. Artists boasting pure originality are lying to themselves and to us. Self-taught, Eaker is afraid of nothing. He is solely concerned with the act of painting.

La Ostra Roja, A Casa Verde Annex, invites you to measure this artist’s vision in an opening filled with emotional impact, Saturday, February 15, from 4 until 9pm. The gallery will be open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, February 16 through 18, from noon until 6pm, and afterwards by appointment


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