san antonio

Stuart Allen

Stuart's Website




"I am not a native Texan. I'm from Kansas, dead center, if not politically, than at least geographically."

"I never expected to live in Texas. Before moving here I lived in California for 10 years. Most people who know me would say that was a good fit: the landscape, the politics, the culture. When my wife and I decided to leave "the Golden State" for San Antonio to be closer to her family, I was more than a little apprehensive about the move."

"I've always associated Texas with its worst characteristics: deeply conservative politics, miles and miles of oil fields, unrelenting heat. Yet what I've found here has surprised me in almost every way. Like California, Texas is enormous, diverse and complicated. Yes, there are miles and miles of oil fields, but that's out west, so far from my studio it might as well be another state. Yes, Texas is overwhelmingly conservative, but not here in urban San Antonio. And the heat, well, you get used to it."

"San Antonio doesn't top anyone's "hippest cities in America" list, and that's our city's greatest strength. The problem with hip cities is that they're unrelenting in their hippness; you can't get away from it - it's annoying. San Antonio, and Texas in general, has more than its share of unique bars, restaurants, galleries and museums. The difference here is that these places aren't trying so hard."

"There's a sense of confidence in Texas (some might say arrogance) that allows individuals to be themselves. This individuality permeates every aspect of the state, including its artistic community. My artist peers in Texas are making some of the best work around, but without the posturing and attitude I've seen in other parts of the country."

"I'm too tired to be hip. In San Antonio I've found everything I need - mainly, the physical and mental space necessary to work and raise my family. Texas is my home and, somewhat to my surprise, it's an excellent fit. Come and visit, I'll take you out for fish tacos and cold beer. You won't have to wait in line, there won't be a struggle to find parking, and it will be the best ten-dollar meal you've ever had."

Artist statement: "My work deals with fundamental elements of perception such as light, space, time, and gravity."

"I aim to distill complex phenomena into manageable, visual gestures."

"Though my work is often described as minimal, I am not interested in simplicity. I am interested in the complexities that inevitably surface within seemingly simple ideas and forms."

"I experiment with many methods before committing to one approach. Some experiments fail miserably. I choose not to exhibit those results."

"I work in a variety of media because different problems require different tools."

"Maintaining a high level of craft is important because my work's content is generally conveyed in very subtle details."

"Beautiful things draw attention. Making beautiful objects provides the opportunity to communicate with a larger audience."

"I am neither a technophobe nor technophile. I am willing to exploit any technology that solves the problem at hand."

"I work with ancient technologies such as kite and sail-making, as well as contemporary tools such as digital photography and the world-wide web."

"My work is often designed to call attention to something else. A kite, for example, that calls attention to the wind and sky, or a fabric installation that calls attention to light and architectural space."