Stephen Milner · A Spiritual Good Time

April 13, 2019 – May 12, 2019

Artist Stephen Milner 

A Spiritual Good Time 

The photographs in “A Spiritual Good Time” are from various surfing and gay porn magazines published before 1990. The artist’s attraction isn’t to the original images as a whole, but to the small and nuanced details that were never their intended focal points. Surf editorial photography created for print magazines tends to have repetitive editorial tropes, and focuses on the larger landscape of the perfect wave with the surfer hero riding in the center. When cut out and recontextualized, they reveal a whole new sentiment and subvert the narrative from the original context.

These appropriated images from mass-printed surf culture are a meditation on the perpetual pursuit of pleasure. They blend fear, desire and intimacy within a sport that often focuses on the heterosexual male-on-female gaze, hyper-masculinity, localism and the gossamer-tipped dream of all-inclusiveness and spirituality.

About the artist: 

Stephen Milner is an artist working in sculpture, photography, video and installation. He received his BFA in photography in 2013 from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He graduated with his MFA in studio art from the University of Oregon where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellow from 2015 to 2018. His work has been published online and in print by magazines like Collective Quarterly, Oxford American, PDN, Time, iGnant, Juxtapoz, Boooooom!, Humble Arts Foundation among many others. In 2016, he was awarded the Innovation in Imaging Grant by the Society of Photographic Education and was a United States award winner for Magenta Foundation Flash Forward.