Stephen Irwin | Monograph
Published by r/e Projects, 2014
Hardcover, full color
Edition of 800
The late Louisville-based artist Stephen Irwin, began making the works for which he would become most widely known in the early 2000s. A lifelong heart patient working always in the shadow of his own poor health, Irwin was intensely focused on the aesthetic quality of ephemerality, particularly as it might be staged and performed through interaction with the viewer.
In his “rub-outs,” Irwin would select pages from vintage pornography, undoing the lusty plastic polish of the magazine by rubbing out the sheen and often much of the image itself. Through a variety of astringent processes, he would soften the blunt sexuality of the found image, abstracting the depicted scene and invoking a more suggestive and expansive erotic landscape of tenderness and perversion.