Stephen Magsig Central Avenue Bridge Belle Isle oil on linen panel 5"x7" 2012
Stephen Magsig Morton Salt oil on linen panel 16"x20" 2008
Stephen Magsig Late March Snow oil on linen panel 5"x5" 2008
Stephen Magsig is one of the best and most successful of artists in the Daily Painting Movement, having ventured into small daily paintings after his reputation for large scale paintings was already established. His intention initially was to create affordable work for people who couldn't buy art at New York Gallery prices, but now even collectors of his larger paintings are interested in his small daily studies.
Magsig works from his own photographs of Detroit's urban and industrial landscapes, intending to create paintings with a strong documentary aspect. Beautiful color and lighting are important to him, but never at the expense of clarity of subject. He is a master at knowing when to give descriptive detail, and when to simplify.
I wonder if Magsig has ever pondered moving to a softer place like California. I'll probably never know, but I do admire him for staying true to his city, and for bringing its endlessly fascinating details and somber beauty to our attention.
I really am a realist painter and not a photorealist, even though I work from photographs. The photos are a reference point and I use them to fit how
I feel at the time I pick the image and use it that way.