Stephen Collier

New Orleans, LA


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. – Oscar Wilde 

Brick Wall Portraits is a series of constructions made of sheet rock and other materials. Brick wall Xerox-prints are pasted on the surface, then eye holes and other facial features are painted and cut into the sheetrock to emphasize a human face. The painted gestured imagery is pulled from an amalgamation of sources including Mardi Gras masking, Halloween costumes, and movie and theatrical costume design while other found objects are occasionally adhered to the surface.  I am playing with the idea of interiors and exteriors and how people behave differently when they’re in disguise or playing a role. There’s a feeling of empowerment, protection, and freedom when one’s face is obscured. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation and the individual.

By wallpapering a false brick façade on the surface of the sheetrock, the viewer is left to contemplate what is real and what is fake, and also question the materials used in the constructions. This play on material can be seen as a conversation of interior versus exterior spaces both physical and psychological. 

I am also interested in the idea of the mask as a throwaway cultural object and how this relates to tourism and debauchery.


(b. 1971 Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS)

Colliers’ work has been exhibited at the Atlanta Contemporary (solo and ATL Biennial), the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, Whitebox, NY; Artist Curated Projects (two person), Los Angeles; VAG (solo), Los Angeles; Western Exhibitions, Chicago; LVL3, Chicago, and Bronx River Art Center, Bronx. His work has been discussed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Pelican Bomb, BOMB Magazine, and his exhibition at Arcadian Center for the Arts was reviewed in Art Forum. He has been awarded residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Louisiana Artworks. Collier has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Warhol Foundation and was included in the Prospect 1.5 curated by Dan Cameron. Collier works in a range of media, which include photography, painting, sculpture, sound, and video. He received a BA from the University of New Orleans.  Collier is a founding member of Good Children Gallery.

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