Photo: Anastasia Mikhalochkina

Photo: Anastasia Mikhalochkina

Steven Pestana is a multidisciplinary artist working in new genre sculpture, installation, and mixed media. He is drawn to the shared legacies of speculative thought at the root of human ingenuity. In investigating these origins, Pestana's work draws big-picture connections among unspoken historical, social and cultural tensions at play in everyday life. He was raised in South Florida before obtaining a BA in Art History at NYU and  MFA from RISD. 

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MFA Digital+Media, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI
BA Art History, New York University, New York NY 

Additional Studies:     Ox-Bow School of Art (Saugatuck MI), Pilchuck Glass School (Stanwood WA), Penland School of Arts and Crafts (Penland NC)

Honors & Awards

2017    CalArts Summer Art Residency
2017    The Studios at Mass MoCA, Residency
2017    Catwalk Institute, Residency, Catskill NY
2015    Here Now’s Real Talk #ClimateChangeIsReal Earth Day Campaign, Honorarium
2015    Puffin Foundation Grant for Fine Arts
2014     Santa Fe Art Institute Residency, Scholarship
2014     Vermont Studio Center Residency, Artist Grant
2013     RISD Digital+Media Graduate Fellowship
2012     RISD Digital+Media Graduate Fellowship

Solo Exhibitions

2017     Chazan Gallery, Rhode Island College, Providence RI
2015     Geometer, GRIN, Providence RI
2013     Prolegomenon, GRIN, Providence RI

Group Exhibitions

Reflecting on Art from the Site Lines of Nature, Catwalk Institute, Catskill NY
Giant Extra, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA
ArtExchange, CAA Conference 2017, New York, NY
Art Speaks, The Wurks, Providence, RI

Satellite Art Show, Miami FL
Fertile Solitude, curated by Elizabeth Lyons Devlin, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston MA
BRINK v2, curated by John Pyper, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston MA

Spring/Break Art Show: Annulus, curated by Corey Oberlander & Lindsey Stapleton, New York NY
Momenta Art Spring Benefit 2015, Momenta Art, Brooklyn NY
34, curated by Elizabeth Lyons Devlin, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston MA

Botanica, curated by Michael Buhler Rose, Invisible Exports, New York NY
Botanica, curated by Michael Buhler Rose, Carroll & Sons, Boston MA
Teem - A Flat File and Installation Exhibition, GRIN, Providence RI
Shared Paths, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe NM
New Contemporaries, curated by Mark Moscone, Gelman Gallery, Providence RI
Graduate Selections, curated by Mark Moscone, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence RI
RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence RI
Momenta Art Spring Benefit 2014, Momenta Art, Brooklyn NY
Human+Computer, RISD Exposé Gallery, Providence RI
Swell - A Flat File and Installation Exhibition, GRIN, Providence RI 

Digital+Media Biennial, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence RI
Scenes in Cedar, curated by Mel George, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood WA 


Mason, Isabella, Slideshow: Satellite Art Show at South Beach, Miami, Blouin ArtInfo, 11/30/2016
Michelman, Elizabeth, No Risk, No Return, Artscope, Nov.-Dec. 2016
McQuaid, Cate, At Mills Gallery, Art That Shatters Boundaries, Boston Globe, 3/1/2016
Penney, Margaret, Color Trends: Anthracite, Notes on Design, 10/26/2016

Haveles, Kate, Fact and Fantasy Converge in the Art of Steven Pestana, Artsy Editorial, 11/10/2015 Lifestyle, RISD Grad Pestana to Open 2nd Solo Exhibition at GRIN, 10/6/2015
McQuaid, Cate, History, fantasy evoked in Sculptors Gallery show, Boston Globe, 8/4/2015
Meier, Allison, Jam-Packed Spring/Break Art Show Pulls into Moynihan Station, Hyperallergic, 3/4/2015 

Amaral Snow, Kirk, Steven Pestana: Metaphysics, Temporary Land Bridge, 6/13/2014
Devlin, Elizabeth Lyons, Steven Pestana, Flux Boston, 6/11/2014
Amaral Snow, Kirk, Exhibitions: Swell at Grin, Temporary Land Bridge, 2/25/2014

Barsky Haylee, Artist Profile: Steven Pestana, Papercut Magazine, 10/2013
Cook, Greg, Beds and Flowers and Metaphysics, Providence Phoenix, 10/2/2013
Silver, Leigh, Portfolio Review: Steven Pestana's Multi-Media Works Take Us on a Metaphysical Journey,, 9/27/2013
Crocker, Abigail, What Could be Underneath the Bricks?, Our RISD, 9/21/2013
Editors, Go and See: Tuesday 17-Monday 23 September, Big Red & Shiny, 9/17/2013
Comery, Beth, Complexity Opens Thursday, Providence Daily Dose, 9/17/2013
Van Siclen, Bill, Four Exhibits Explore the Theme of Complexity, Providence Journal, 9/15/2013
Cook, Greg, Fall Arts Preview: Vivid Visions, Providence Phoenix, 9/11/2013 


2016    “Steven Pestana & Norman Coady” [Interview], We Have a Lot to Say, BRINK v2 Exhibition Catalogue

2015    “A Conversation Between Steven Pestana & Sarah Montross", Geometer Exhibition Catalogue

2014    Codex Novum Sensorium, Artist’s Book (Selection, Printed Matter Distribution Program)

Curatorial Projects

2013     Complexity Part 1, Gelman Gallery, Providence RI
Complexity Part 2, Granoff Center, Providence RI
Complexity Part 3, AS220 Project Space, Providence, RI
Digital+Media Biennial, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence RI

Select Lectures & Workshops

Guest Critic, Directed Studies - Studio Arts, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA
NYC Creative Salon, Structure, Discussion moderated by Lauren Comito, New York, NY

Final Critic, Digital Media Foundations, Rhode Island College, Providence RI
Artist Talk, Art Speaks, The Wurks, Providence , RI
Roundtable Discussion, Emerging Artists? Boston Center for the Art, Boston, MA

Final Critic, Painting Department: Senior Degree Projects, RISD, Providence RI
Guest Critic, Department of Digital Media, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI 

Artist Talk, SFAI 140, Santa Fe Art Institute, NM

Artist talk, GRIN, Providence, RI

Artist Statement

Six subtle suggestions for seeing the invisible:

1. Harness your energy (you will need it). 
2. Remain aware and ready to notice at all times. 
3. Look closely at big things, and look at little things from far away. Also, do the opposite. 
4. Explain something complex in a simple way. Again, do the opposite.
5. Seek out patterns and paradoxes. Attempt to decipher or at least describe them. The answer may lay in the attempt. 
6. Find a new language. If you cannot find one, invent one. 

In my work I contrast different types of thinking, understanding and knowing: analogical against digital, ephemeral versus concrete, and intuitive versus empirical. Each approach shapes the way we think about ourselves, others, our interactions, and our vision of human potential. 

The result leads me from one medium to the next, often requiring the invention of new techniques, vocabularies, and experiences. Throughout, images from the history of science appear alongside religious and mystical iconography, immersed in otherworldly abstraction, and interrupted with anachronistic forgotten histories. 

My goal is to create images and objects offering a glimpse — and subtle suggestion — from the other side of possibility.

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