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Converse Shortlist: Steve Bishop

Canadian born Bishop, whose work has been exhibited in London, Melbourne and New York, is influenced by both minimalism and pop art...

Canadian born, London based Steve Bishop is the next in line of our five profiles on the short listed Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award entrants. Working with found, ready made and fabricated objects, 27-year-old Bishop’s work moves fluently between various stylistic reference points, from minimal through to pop art and on to the more organic. His highly realized pieces leave the viewer both intrigued and questioning the artists thought process. Seemingly a continuous explanation of his ideas and inspirations the works flit between those that cause quiet contemplation and those that deliver a visual punch line, however dry it may be. Having exhibited at numerous galleries internationally, including Twenty by Thirty, Melbourne, MWMN, New York and more recently as part of the Library of Babel/In and Out of Place show at the 176/Zabludowicz Collection and the current Newspeak/British Art Now Saatchi Gallery exhibition, both in London, Bishop’s work is already well on his way to receiving the critical interest it deserves.

Dazed Digital: When did you first become interested in art?
Steve Bishop: I have wanted to be an artist since I can remember, but what being an artist actually means has changed over time. At first I first thought it meant drawing cartoons.
DD: How did you learn your technique?
Steve Bishop: I suppose my work has developed through attempting to shed any sense of technique in my making. It consists mainly of utilising pre-existing objects while the elements that need to be made are fabricated. I don't want to make work that is judged on the basis of technical skill.
DD: Which artists inspire you?
Steve Bishop: Artists that change and evolve, through time.
DD: Who are your artistic icons?
Steve Bishop: Jeff Koons, Ugo Rondinone, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Rachel Harrison.
DD: Where do you get your inspiration?
Steve Bishop: The best ideas come while I am traveling, often on a train or late at night.
DD: What is your creative process behind making a piece of work?
Steve Bishop: I do a lot of mental sorting through ideas and possibilities. Once I've thought of something that holds my attention I will research the idea and try to obtain whatever it may be I need to start the work. Once I get hold of a physical object the initial idea usually changes, as the actuality of an object is quite different from my idea of it. I try to have a handful of different objects around the studio at any one time to work with. Some can stay sitting there for 6 months before I decide what to do next with them.
DD: Can you explain the ideas behind the work that you submitted to the Converse/Dazed Award?
Steve Bishop: I was interested in making something highly aesthetic that was arrived at by a mixture of intention and accident. The composition would complete itself, by selecting materials that could influence and affect each other pictorially.
DD: What would it mean to win?
Steve Bishop: I’m just happy to show at Stephen Friedman, but to win would obviously mean some welcome financial support.
DD: What would do you do with the prize?
Steve Bishop: I would put half aside towards making more work and I would probably go abroad for a period of time with the rest as a self-governed residency.
DD: How are you approaching the exhibition at Stephen Friedman gallery?
Steve Bishop: I will just show the work that was selected and hope that perhaps someone will enjoy it.

Come back to Dazed Digital next Thursday to find about our second Converse/Dazed Emerging Artist Award 2010 finalist...