Oil on linen
99 x 86.4 cm
Jansson Stegner’s canvases contrive a humorous blend of romanticised beauty and pop culture dumbness. In paintings such as Sarabande and Grey Sky, Stegner adopts the pastoral hues and elegant compositions of historical painting to portray images of contemporary longing. Borrowing from the vernacular of TV heroicism, Stegner’s paintings of cops transpose the glamorised bravado, violence, and machoism of programmes such as COPS into a quirky fetishism, as his nubile girl-as-boy police officers languish in idyllic settings, rendered like cherubic pin-ups for sensual indulgence.
Through his use of cartoon-ish exaggeration, Stegner’s figures become both surreal and idealised: all gangly limbs and gesticular expressions their vulnerability is countered by their moral ambivalence. Throughout Stegner’s paintings is a sense of punk-ish aggression, where the authority is questioned, subverted, and manipulated both through his subject matter and ‘slack’ style of painting, which contrive a taboo intimacy from generic emblems of power.