Stuart Snoddy
B. 1981, Honduras
BFA Herron School of Art and Design
MFA Northern Illinois University

Artist's Statment: 

I paint fantasy. I paint the fantasy of me. This is my story complete with the screw-ups, the pleasures, and the pleasant fictions. Who am I? I wasn’t born here. I have never known a “blood” relative. I’ve never looked upon the face of someone with the same genes as I have. Never seen my eyes in someone else. I paint people that surface from a yearning imagination. Some are illuminated by the refulgence of past encounters like a glowing filament in a freshly turned off light bulb. And some come from…who knows, or wherever. I guess I just miss my friends. Nostalgia is real sticky stuff. But this fantasy nurtures the narratives of our lives as cohesive intellectual and emotional beings. I indulge it.  

I paint in the place where fantasy starts to sour because you’ve lingered there too long. It’s a sweet punishment for reminiscing poetic.  

This is a collection of my previous artist's statements with the dates in which they were written.
I feel that presenting the different edits will provide a better (flexible) sense of context with the work on this website.

My paintings are fantasies about the past and dreams about the future.  Both are fictions.  There is a world of richness in the comings and goings of people as they pass through your life.  There’s also a world of sadness.  
My paintings of fictional people are an attempt to fill in the voids in the collection of remembered content.  They are remembered filaments--turned off, yet still glowing.  The people in my paintings are culled from a place where imagination and memory merge. 

I’m searching for an emotional richness through fabricated images of people.  My paintings are place where I can explore feelings of longing, elation, sadness and love.  They are a gasp of air and a tribute to memory and imagination.

Edit 5/10/15
My work is about where I’ve been and where I am.
It’s about being young. It’s about remembering being young. Obsession. It’s about sticky fumblings. Awkwardness. It’s about the girls I’ve screwed/the girls who’ve screwed me. It’s about skinny-dipping. It’s about wind and hair and late night bike rides. It’s about losing. Love. It’s about remembering remembering.
 Developing creases.
The mythological you and me.

It’s about that last big gasp of air because you know she’s gone.

Edit 2/20/14 (on painting and narrative)

Disquiet lies at the heart of my paintings. I create surreal zones of imagined energy where narratives of love, sex, (a)morality and violence slowly emerge.  Fantastic landscapes and an often larger-than-life-size ensemble of characters populate an immersive world in which the viewer is invited to figuratively step into. 

Storytelling has become an integral part of my work.  Acting as both author and director, while paying homage to both, I create stories that illustrate the very smallest portion of a fabricated exotic culture.  My fables become metaphorical stand-ins for issues of masculinity, moral panic, courtship, and most importantly the impotency of male fantasy.  My subjects range from a group of siblings performing a river ritual to an anti-bellum forbidden love story on Mars.

My narratives unravel from a series of automatic drawings that leave little narrative leeway.  That is to say that they are ciphers, that on some levels, are mysterious to even myself.  I find this extremely exculpatory and in accordance with my philosophies on free will, determinism, compatabalism, etc.

Edit: 9/12/12

I'm interested with what a time-based medium can say about our own sense of time. I know that everything exists within time and that specifying one medium as time specific is absolutely redundant. Redundancy may prove to be helpful. What I'm referring to is the interaction that time has with the medium and its limitations, logistics, etc. This underscores why I'm working with video and why looped video in particular has become of importance.

What I'm thinking:

Space and time are inseparable. Once something occupies space the clock starts running, and conversely the clock can't start ticking until something is there to exist.

How do we see this? Our senses act as biofilters feeding us sensitive data to translate and store. This allows us to "possess" the things we know literally and metaphorically. Think about something familiar from the past and it exists as energy and occupies physical space in the fabric of our brains. And don't forget that it is very possible to see what is in the eye of the beholder. Just look them in the eyes and the physical reflection will be quite clear. Information traveling through the iris becomes physically infused with our bodies. I'm concerned with this interaction and how our ability to store this interaction with space and time influences us.

Edit: 2008 and previous
My work:
In film we expect a conclusion; we expect to be gratified with a "pay-off." In life the opposite is true. There is no clarity, no Dénouement the way we observe it in the cinema. I use video editing as a way to create time relative pieces often employing continuous loops. With looped work there is a possibility to reach infinity, though this is improbable. This improbability is what I want to be considered. I want to note that although I feel forever is impractical, I recognize the potential beauty in the want for posterity.

The continuous loop calls to mind the recollection of memories and a state of stillness in which they seemingly exist or suggest. When we revisit the past we don't view it as a storyline, rather, we see it as a continuous event that remains always and forever. The memory of our childhood room doesn't have a beginning or an end it just "is" and will "be" until we die.

If I can create an image that parallels our notion of this stillness, I can also expose it for the illusion that it is. Everything is in constant motion. We won't wake up in the same place we fell asleep. With time there is also a notion of stillness. There is a concept of what “now” is. It could be considered the current state of being. But unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, “now” remains ever so elusive. By the time our brains have processed the information now will have inevitably passed.

Before working with videos, I was very interested in making temporary constructions that marked and were inspired by a very tentative interaction with a space or a person. These were simple structures held together by string and were influenced by spontaneity. The materials where reused from previous projects including bits of recycled paintings that were initially constructed in the vein of impulsiveness.

My interaction with art is one that acknowledges the fleeting while maintaining a sense of optimism for the quest for permanence.