Although I was born in the US, I grew up in Southeast Asia and the Near East. My father is a linguist and teacher, and I was raised in Indonesia, Cambodia, Burma, and Turkey. I’ve been painting since I was 19. In college I majored in art history, and for much of my life I’ve worked as a curator specializing in Chinese art. As a result, many of my paintings are inspired by Chinese landscape paintings, especially works by the 13th century Chan (Zen) painters Muqi and Yujian. In my recent work I’ve aimed at achieving images that are spatially ambiguous, reflecting my study of nuclear physics and Daoism, the ancient Chinese system of belief that perceives reality as fluid, and teaches a way of living in balance with the natural world. I’m drawn to deserts, mountains, and oceans; these have had a huge influence on my painting.
Stephen Little | 2013