ARTWORK by AL STONE
Born in Zandvoort, The Netherlands in 1957, Al Stone immigrated to Los Angeles, California with his parents and sister in 1961. In school, Al’s creativity was expressed both in visual art experiments and in kinesthetic designs for such items as bicycles linked with skis. His later schooling included a special weekend program for high school students at the Art Center of Design, where he focused on drawing, life study and composition. Al graduated from Simi Valley High School in 1976, accompanied by a scholarship to be used to continue his education in art.
Pierce College in Los Angeles opened opportunities not only for coursework appropriate to Al’s expanding interest in three-dimensional art, but apprenticeships to sculptors, teachers, and other artists who saw his potential and made sure he developed his art broadly. Continuing at California State University at Northridge, Al taught classes, worked for professors, and used coursework time in studios where he worked with plaster, cloth, barbed wire, bamboo and other materials to create strong visual and social-related art work.
At California State University at Northridge he graduated with honors, in Three-Dimensional Art program in 1980. Shortly after that, he moved to the art district in downtown Los Angeles, where he built relationships with other artists and showed his own art along with them. For these solo and group shows Al created bold and visually strong floor sculptures and 3-D wall pieces as well as large paintings stretched like animal hides between bamboo bars. These pieces primarily expressed ideas emerging from his interest in cultural anthropology and sociology.
Six months of travel to Europe followed in 1985, where he explored France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, and other art-rich locales. In 1987, Al moved to Liege, Belgium, built his family a house, and worked on his art. Here he developed large bas-relief comprised of wood and wire, which he covered with paper, then painted with inks, scenes expressing philosophical thought in the cultural balance we try to keep as humanity and time demand change.
After ten years in Belgium, Al moved his family to Portland, Oregon, where he continued all the forms of art work he had developed, including additional focus on photography.
The imagery, themes and concepts in which Al work with are culturally-rooted, extending his interest in both anthropology and the environment. His focus is questioning perception, the act of looking and using the visual to compare contexts within culture, and using culture as a mode of measurement that allows for no “absolutes.” He sees our world as a participatory universe in which our awareness of physical phenomena is defined by the questions we ask of them. Moreover, as we approach art work independently, within a shared environment, we always are looking, imagining, creating….
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