Interview With Stefan Boulter

By Andy Shield

Interview With Stefan Boulter

Where are you from originally and where are you based currently?

I am Icelandic, born in Reykjavík, but I have a strong connection to the USA as my father was an American from Kentucky. I think this duality among other things was a major factor in me becoming a painter. Now I live in Akureyri a town in northern Iceland not too far from the arctic circle.

How long have you been an artist?

I have been painting and drawing since I can remember, but my oldest brother who is an abstract painter definitely influenced my choice of medium.

Why do you create?

It’s difficult to answer why one creates, the shortest answer would be that I create from a need.

Is there an underlying theme to your work?

There are a few themes recurring in my work, theatrically staged compositions, myths and a kind of a symbolic meditations on nature, humans the sky earth and stars. The aura of objects and animals. In some senses, it is a kind of a nature worship, living in a sparsely populated country like Iceland gives one the opportunity to connect to nature in a real way. I am interested in the eternal and what themes seem to repeat themselves over history.

But I also believe that meaning is in the craft, not just the subject matter. It’s as much about the ‘how’ as it is about the ‘what’. People often say that my work is ethereal, I like that, the viewers experience is what matters, I believe we see in art what we have in common, especially when it touches us in some way.

The Stargazing series is influenced by the American painter George Catlin who became well known for his marvellous painting of Native Americans. I discovered his paintings in my father’s books on US history. The red color has various symbolic meanings and the female figures are gazing upward towards the sky. The mystery of our place in the universe is a factor in my work as in much art throughout history. I want the paintings to be personal and universal at the same time.