About Steve Horan
Art has always been a part of my life. As a child I played with my father’s pastels. He was a commercial artist who sketched with pastels. As I grew up, I won summer art contests all through grade school. However, as many young men do I rebelled and wanted nothing to do with art --my father’s profession. So I enrolled in the University of Chicago and got an undergraduate degree in political science. However, as a graduate student, when I flunked out of the business school, I switched to Art History.
I almost finished my Master’s degree when I was drafted into the Army during the Viet Nam War. Art saved me from combat duty when the military assigned me to the U. S. Army Exhibit Unit near the Pentagon. There I learned how to silk screen print graphics onto exhibit panels. Later, I would use this skill to self publish several editions of silk screen prints.
When I was discharged from the Army, I was a graphic designer for awhile with a railroad. Once I married, I was able to become a full time professional artist --thanks to my wife who was a teacher. Later , as an artist, I was able to support her as she switched careers and became an attorney.
At various times in my life I have tried to avoid art -- to no avail. My wife, Janet, will testify that during our marriage of over four decades art has kept me sane. Retirement has been a continuation of art in my life which makes me immensely happy.
I hope my audience enjoys my art as much as I enjoy creating it. Recently, I have been producing landscape paintings of where I now live--the Ozarks. As a result of living almost my entire life in Chicago, a major portion of my work consists of nighttime representations of lights or images of the city. I am interested in capturing basic geometric relationships and if possible, some of the spiritual impact of urban cityscapes.
During the last thirty years, I have been juried into many national exhibitions and one-man shows and had gallery representation in New York, Chicago and in many other cities. In addition, agents and publishers of my limited edition serigraphs have sold hundreds of my prints to galleries and collectors.
I have completed works of art for galleries, corporations and private collectors as far away as Canberra, Australia, where William Pei & Associates, architects, selected a suite of my limited edition prints for installation in a hotel they designed.
I am an abstract landscape painter. I attempt to look beyond what is in front of me to reach a greater interpretation. My abstract vistas give the viewer the freedom to step away from the literal landscape of nature and tap into imagery created within their mind’s eye. My abstract landscapes are based on an emotional reaction to a natural setting –urban or rural—rather than a specific depiction of a place. As a result, my paintings are fantasy paintings of the real world.
In my artwork I create a combination of and harmony between abstraction and realism. My abstract landscapes contain some recognizable elements—not every detail is abstracted. In developing my artwork, I allow my imagination to dramatically alter the size and shape of what I see.
When I start creating a new work of art, I begin by recalling a variety of visual images I have stored in my memory. Some of these memories are very fresh, being images seen only days or weeks before. But some are from my childhood. I seek to discover in each stored image its essence: qualities that had the power to impress and astonish me when I first saw the image.
My artwork represents a lifetime of reflection and transfiguration of stored memories. My life’s mission as an artist is to discover a new way of looking at things.