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“I always challenge myself to make things appear as real as I possibly can,” says Price, “whether it’s the patterns of froth on the face of a wave or a tiny section of deteriorated wood--I enjoy going very deeply into the details of the visual surface. When the viewer is compelled to reach out and touch the painting to verify his perceptions, that’s my reward.”
Price was born in Akron, Ohio and attended the University of Akron and the Akron Art Institute before moving to Laguna Beach, California in 1971. He found work as an airbrush artist and then excelled in the competitive field of photo-retouching.
The Central Coast has provided inspiration for hundreds of paintings, including a series of miniature watercolors of historic buildings of Cambria, acrylic and watercolor landscapes painted on location, and imaginative works with black-light dual images.
An original airbrush watercolor painting by Stephen Price, “Cambria Ocean View”, was juried into Greenwich Workshop’s 2007 Small Works North America show, chosen from a field of over 900 small-scale paintings by America’s finest artists. In the spring of 2008 he was asked to loan two of his trompe l’oeil pieces for an exhibition called “Lie to the Eye” at the Bakersfield Musuem of Art. This prestigious gathering of work represented thirteen contemporary masters of the genre. “Trompe l’Oeil en Plein Air”, a three-dimensional chantournee cut-out painting of an artist’s easel, and “Rare Signed First Edition” a canvas painted to deceive the viewer into believing it to be a leather-bound book, were the two Price pieces in the show.
Stephen was honored to be contacted by Dimitri Salmon of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France last year in connection with an upcoming exhibit of historical and modern verso paintings. Dimitri spotted Stephen's examples of this rare trompe l'oeil subject on his website and emailed him for more information to be included in documentation.
Stephen Price lives and works in Templeton, California, in the heart of wine country. Current galleries exhibiting his art include Artifacts Gallery, ECR Gallery, Chambers Gallery in Cambria, Dark Nectar and The 9's in Templeton, California.