Stebbins The Second Realest 2013 2014 6 x 8 sold
STEBBINS Mark Drawing at 133 x 180 2013 Acrylic ink on panel 10 x 8 sold
STEBBINS Mark Symmetries 2013 Acrylic ink on panel 10 x 8 sold
Stebbins Synthesizer Acrylic ink on panel 8 x 8 1 100 sold
Stebbins Slip 2013 Mixte 10 x 2 sold
Stebbins The Gleaners Acrylique 16 x 16 sold
Stebbins2013 The Realest 12x9ininstall sold
Stebbins2013 Reconstruction 10x8ininstall sold
Stebbins Impostors 2012 Acrylique 10 x 8 sold
Stebbins Glitch alike no.3 Acrylique 12 x 16 sold
Stebbins2012 Glitch alike no.4 Acrylique 6 x 6 1024x1024 sold
Stebbins Glitch alike no.6 Acrylique 8 x 10 sold
Stebbins Glitch alike no.5 Acrylique sur papier 11 x 11 sold
Stebbins Ghost Print Acrylique 10 x 10 sold
Stebbins FIFO Acrylique 8 x 8 sold
Stebbins2013 2014 Defenestration 10x8in 1 400. sold
Stebbins2013 Periphery 14x11in 2 200. sold

Mark Stebbins

Mark Stebbins has become known for small, complex abstract paintings that deal with themes of information, transformation, memory, craft, labour and decay. In “Glitch-alikes,” Stebbins presents a new body of work that represents both a thematic continuation and a visual tangent to his previous work.

Glitch generally refers to the failure of some system. In its pure form, glitch is an unanticipated error or spontaneous malfunction. In contrast, the “glitch-alike”--a term coined by Iman Moradi--is the result of conscious manipulation by an artist, a purposely induced or synthesized failure.

When an electronic failure distorts visual material, the results can be strangely compelling. Glitched digital images often fragment in ways that reveal something about the structure of the underlying data, resulting in striated bands of pixels, misaligned patterns, abrupt palette shifts and random noise.

Stebbins’ “Glitch-alike” body of work combines two distinct elements. Firstly, the images refer to the artist’s studio process by incorporating remnants of dried paint scraped from Stebbins’ palette and mixing cups. These remains constitute a sort of accidental imagery, harvested in much the same way a digital glitch artist might hunt for the chance occurrence of pure glitch. Secondly, Stebbins mimics the aesthetics of digital glitch by surrounding the
palette residue with elaborate pixel matrices, which he renders by hand in acrylic ink, square-by-square.

The result is an inversion of implied intentionality. Paint strokes and smears that might read as expressive gesture are in fact unintentionally created by-products of past paintings, saved and catalogued by the artist for reuse. In contrast, what appear as unintended failures of digital images are in fact the most laboured aspects of the pieces. On closer inspection, these pixel grids are undeniably expressive in a way that could only be the result of a
human hand, containing both a nuanced imprecision in form and a meticulous consideration of subtle tonal variation and patterning.

What to make of these glitchy images, these glitch-alikes? These intimately scaled pieces continue to explore themes found in Stebbins’ past work, including the transformation and decay of information. The artist’s slow and deliberate creation of glitch-alike images can be seen as a sustained
meditation on the inherent instability of recorded information, and as such, on change and loss in general. But in gleaning the residue of his studio process, Stebbins suggests that glitch can be celebrated as a reclamation of error. In glitch there is also hope: a hope that in failure, something new and beautiful will emerge.

Press Releases

2010 Blogue RBC,
12e concours de peintures canadiennes de RBC (30 September)

2010 Moshe Mikanovsky Art, Moshe Mikanovsky
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit 2012- My Favorites (11 July)

2009 Visual Art Nova Scotia,
VANS Awards - 2009 (17 October)