Steve Pauley is an artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Pauley earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. He received his MA from Marshall University, WV and BA from West Virginia State University (WVSU).
Bridging sculpture with photography, printmaking, painting, installation art and performance art, Pauley’s work evolved organically from his profession as a headstone carver and as a photography teacher. He explores engraving anamorphic images into polished granite, which are then projected onto a wall by bouncing light off the stone’s surface. This process he uses today, he coined as "stone-reflection photograms." Fusing the time-intensive labor of hand engraving stone and the mechanical reproduction of photography, Pauley’s current investigations include projecting that image onto light sensitive paper in a darkroom without the use of a camera or film. Joining stone’s hard durability with the immateriality of light and shadow, Pauley creates work at once spiritual and worldly; tragic, hopeful and eternal.
His most recent solo exhibition Transcriptions in 2014 was at the Saint Mary the Virgin Gallery in Times Square, NY. Other solo exhibitions include The Rock show at the Koenig Gallery in Charleston, WV; Freddy's Backroom in Brooklyn, NY; Crush and High Alert at the Broadway Gallery in New York, NY; Instant Gratification at the Della Brown Taylor Gallery at West Virginia State University; and an at the Amalie Rothschild Gallery in Baltimore, MD. His main body of work consists of low relief sculpture on granite, marble, or found objects.
"For Da Bitchez" (2004) is an example of Steve Pauley's sculptural work. The sculpture is a graffitied bathroom stall from Baltimore's Mount Royal Tavern, a local art student hang out. The bathroom stall was subjected to Pauley's sandblasting as he carved graffiti, traced from men's and women's restrooms, into it; one side from the men's room, another from the women's. In this case both the bathroom stall and the graffiti are found art.
Pauley often includes images of graffiti, trash, advertising fliers, and other ephemera in his monumental stone sculptures. By doing so he hopes to comment on our culture's need for instant gratification via consumerism as he carves these objects into stone and memorializes them.
In 2007, the artist's work was included in the Bird Flew Exhibition at the Tribes Gallery as part of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The New York Times dubbed Pauley's reliefs on absolute black granite to be the "most striking and unorthodox work" in the exhibition. Some of Pauley’s other reviews include the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Charleston Daily Mail, and NY Arts Magazine, and his work has been featured on All Things Considered on NPR and on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.