“I have painted since I was very young. I have a brother who is 10 years older than me. He is a fabulous artist and I used to sit for him all the time. I was always enamored with his creativity and different painting styles”. She developed a strong sense of color from experimenting with big brothers paints when she had the opportunity. “I always tried to emulate him and spent a lot of time in nature drawing animals and trees”.
After college studies in computer programming, “I found myself in graphic design working at a company producing Video on Demand with Los Angeles producers at various networks. It was a fast-paced environment with a constant crush of creativity. I have worked in many different formats.” Eventually, she arrived at her contemporary style. “A lot of my work today reflects the computer work that I did with video”. She brings a natural talent to the task of making shadow like elements that are simplified, sophisticated and immediately understandable. Her works most often have a sense of humor and playfulness that enhances the silhouetted imagery.
“I will start with a sketch from a photograph and then reduce that idea to a basic cartoon”. She knows where she wants to “take each piece of work”, defines the color scheme and then pours paint onto a canvas base. Stephanie draws that “cartoon” again with an X-acto knife and then removes a layer of poured paint to create the desired silhouette. The result is a sparse outline framing a silhouetted image but, instead of traditional black, it’s filled with a multicolored poured paint that looks more like it grew in place similar to how soap bubbles grow en masse.
She finishes each painting with a generous layer of clear resin that protects and enshrines the painted surface. The combined effect of paint poured on canvas board, layered extractions and glass like final coat make for a machine perfect presentation with few hints of the talented artist’s hand. She paints portraits of Andy Warhol, Joan Jett, Vivian Leigh, Gwen Stefanie and Veronica Lake; mega pop stars of their day but under Stephanie Hansen’s hand, updated with a sense of unrestrained feminine power.
“I paint for me, paint what I like and paint to push social buttons”. She has produced a series of lip paintings reminiscent of a certain rock band’s 1960’s vinyl album cover with tongue and lips. Ms. Hansen’s lips are transformed and updated to include painted words, luxury brand logos and lush red drips of paint that fall from the mouth that could be cherry juice or something a bit more lethal (as in the triptych “Cherry Bomb”). “For me it’s beautiful. I wear red lips. I am drawn to that sensual image, and what it can communicate.” Stephanie Hansen’s “Pop Culture Exhibition” at Tryst Gallery in April 2019 featured her most current art works. Her work is also hung at several popular entertainment and dining venues around Loudoun County, Virginia.