From 03/12/2007to 01/04/2008
Stéphane Richard has a painter name: Stepk. The first time we get in touch with him is through the internet, and we immediately are seduced by the first images he showed. Then, we set an appointment in his atelier near Le Mans for the coming summer. We did it! It was raining the day we visited him!. There was, in the background of a hangar, his space, the obvious strength of a man and a painter. The soil was clay, he was clearly the feet rooted on this earth. Stéphane worked at night, at night only, in the deep of the night (it is no coincidence!). Lonely painter, he likes to face to face with himself, and with his canvas and ... his soul. Self-taught, he never frequented any art school and has a personal opinion on the Other, on faces he met, apparently in broad daylight. Stepk studies appearances; he looks in the interior of the body and attitudes. The man is smiling, friendly; he has a passionate and serious look. Actually, he makes saved gestures, but generous with his whole being. Stepk is an artist involved and he wrote: "Painting is a matter of imbalance, a hand-to-hand with myself, in a solitude assumed by the permanence of my own commitments and my fears", or "Painting is a struggle". His work is of great sincerity, revolted and forcible, strained, a stripped bare painting, a mix-in good conscience-of tortured desperation and the purest cheerfulness (we guess his childhood when he screws up his eyes!). Stéphane works (during the day) in a print shop. We understand his fascination of inks, blobs and drippings, he is halfway between thirty and forty years old; he follows his way, lay out with straight steps, both light and heavy. He has exhibited, for three years now, in personal or collective exhibitions. Stepk would like to live his job as a painter, he is working on this. With his instinct, his spontaneity, his determination and his sincerity, we wish him to go on, despite the tortuous path. We are very happy to present here some of his creations, hoping that everyone will feel any depth, approaching perhaps a little intimate secrets of the person who created them.