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)

Children's Book Published! Art Show Recap! Woodworking!

Emily and the Penny Adventure!!

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So over the past year and a half, several things have happened.  I illustrated a children's book which was written by Clare Phillips and then published by Xulon Press Publishing.  It is a really fun book appropriate for all ages (but meant for 3-7 year olds).  If you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it on Amazon, HERE.   This was an amazing experience and there are more books in the Emily series to come!  I have been asked to continue illustrating and could not be more excited.

RAW Artists Chicago Show

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I participated in an amazing show along with many talented artists from all over Chicago, which was held at one of my favorite venues, The Metro.  Some of the work I showed as well as a couple of little blurbs about the work and myself can be found HERE.

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My table set up...

My table set up...

I make wood stuff now?!

I have been trying to get into the woodworking game for a while now.  But I just didn't have space for the tools and saws I needed, not to mention I didn't have any of those tools or saws.  My situation has changed on all of those fronts, and I now have a small (but growing) wood shop. I love Nick Offerman, so I got got his book Good Clean Fun, which is AMAZING.  Go find it on Amazon HERE if you like humor, woodworking, or want to learn about the amazing artists that make up Offerman Woodshop. Here are images of my first project, from which I got the plans out of Good Clean Fun.  It is a stool inspired by Wendell Berry the renowned poet and Author, and a favorite of Offerman's. The stool I made was built from Black Walnut (legs) and Red Oak (seat).  It is all mortise and tenon joints, no nails or hardware was used. I am currently making a chair to match.  I will post those pics when I finish the chair.

Black Walnut board

Black Walnut board

Red Oak Board

Red Oak Board

Chiseling out the mortises on the seat.

Chiseling out the mortises on the seat.

Band sawed out the cabriolet legs

Band sawed out the cabriolet legs

Fit the leg tenon into the seat mortise

Fit the leg tenon into the seat mortise

Unfinished, legs fitted

Unfinished, legs fitted

Finished top

Finished top

Finished side

Finished side

Finished side

Finished side