Collection: Ian Stone

Ian Stone, Canadian Artist at Gallery MerrickBIO
Ian Stone (b. 1982)

As a child, I remember gravitating towards certain objects: beautiful, stylish, kitschy objects. I spent a large portion of my childhood at my grandparents’ house, filled with dusty tchotchkes and elegant Victorian antiques. I squandered hours alone with these otherworldly objects, developing a sensibility for decorative camp. I would run my finger along a pair of bronze horses or satin lampshades and watch the dust lift and settle atop a porcelain ballerina figurine below. I would arrange and rearrange a collection of plastic fruit in a wicker bowl, discovering endless configurations. The ultimate fantasy was imagining how I would display this collection of (seemingly) invaluable heirlooms in my someday home. I now own these objects, and I have found a home for them in my painting.

Ian was born in Montreal, Quebec, where he currently resides and works. He received his BFA in traditional Printmaking from NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 2004 and an MFA in painting and drawing from Concordia University in 2007. His work can be found in numerous private and public collections, including the Florida State University Museum, and the National Palace of culture in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Artist Statement:

As a painter who focuses on the intersection of beauty, kitsch, and camp in gay art, I am drawn to the ways in which gay men have historically been attracted to objects that challenge traditional notions of beauty and gender norms. Through my work, I explore the ways in which queer aesthetics have evolved over time, and how these aesthetics are manifested in the art that gay men choose to collect.

In my work, I primarily focus on portraits and collections of objects, using realism to capture the beauty and complexity of my subjects. By painting these subjects in intricate detail, I hope to bring to light the unique subjectivity that exists within gay culture. For me, this subjectivity is a product of the social and cultural forces that shape our experiences as queer people, as well as the unique ways in which we navigate these forces. Ultimately, my goal as an artist is to bring these ideas to life and to explore the complex relationships between identity, desire, and aesthetics.