My work explores the relationship between physical spaces and the objects we fill them with. Often focusing on typical domestic decor and household ornaments, the work makes these inherently empty objects into simplified symbols and patterns that can then be rearranged and compressed to carry a formal sensibility. Currently, my work has concerned the idea of the painting as ornament, with stock subjects of landscape, still life, and portraiture becoming knickknacks. I distill, consolidate, and appropriate the overwhelming amount of generic design aesthetic in the commercial decor market when working. Rather than fight the inherent kitschiness of this visual language, I embrace the imagery so the work can, in turn, become a critique of the subject it is representing.
Market Research is a new body of work that begins to pull apart the images of the commercial art and design industry that my work has been recently driven by. In these works I continue to use the classical composition of a still life, but instead of taking a passive approach of displaying these images, I am examining them through dissections and colliding juxtapositions. The new paintings expand their reach of what they are pulling from, looking at popular gradients and color combinations, to images evocative of logos and signage. Market Research serves as somewhat of a field study for collecting and acquiring the images and pop patterns of today's commercial world and brings them back to my still life composition for further examination.
Stephen D’Onofrio is a contemporary visual artist focused in painting. His work is characterized by an interest in the home decor market, the mass commodification of art, and the generic visual language that accompanies commercial design. He received his MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 and his work has been placed in numerous private nationwide and public collections such as Estee Lauder and Fidelity to name a few. D’Onofrio has lived and worked in Philadelphia since being awarded an artist residency in the city at Jasper Studios in 2017.