Steve Mancione

Workingman's Art

I am a Chicago based artist who has always been drawn to what many traditional art critics might call "low-brow art".  Graphitti, comic books, and cartoons have always interested me most, I think because they are the most relatable to the public at large.  Making art for the .5% of the population that actually goes to "white cube" galleries doesn't seem practical to me.  Those people are all artists, art critics, or art teachers.  They already come to the work with predisposed notions of whatever theory they are currently regurgetating.  In my mind, it takes more balls to do artwork that everyone, from every class has access to.  A tag on a brick wall will be seen by more people than a framed work in a gallery.  But it's not exposure I'm after, it's opening up the vacuum sealed bubble of the art world to everyone, not just the people in the "art club".  I want people who would never walk into a gallery to be able to see my work.  Regular people without trust funds and people who have no idea what "post-modern" means.  My family, colleagues and friends are hard working individuals who will most likely never know a -shall we say - "priviledged" life. So that's who I make art for because I can actually relate to them and hopefully they can relate to me.  I guess I'll sum this up in a quote from one of my favorite childhood movies. 

"I make car parts for the American working man, because that's what I am. And that's who I care about."

                                                                    -Ray Zalinsky (Dan Akroyd)

Blue Collar Black Sheep has been Featured in Hand Papermaking Magazine!

During my Graduate Program at Columbia College Chicago, I had the privilege of working under Artist/Master Papermaker, Melissa Potter.  As a leading voice in Socially Engaged Art and an authority in Hand Papermaking, she was interviewed about Young Papermakers that are making an impact in the field, by Hand Papermaking Magazine.  I was honored to be included among the artists featured in this piece for my project Blue Collar Black Sheep.  

Read the full article HERE.

See more about Blue Collar Black Sheep HERE.

Reprinted with permission from Hand Papermaking vol. 31, no. 1 (Summer 2016), © 2016 by Hand Papermaking, Inc. ( All rights reserved.