Doug Stapleton is an artist, curator, and educator. He is an Assistant Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and an adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012. A former Artistic Associate with the Chicago based contemporary dance company the Seldoms, he had worked on eleven evening-length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Prior to his work with the Seldoms, he has performed in over forty solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and a BA in Anthropology from University of Delaware with a minor concentration in Art History and Ceramics.
Stapleton’s work originates out of a formalist eye and a need to create suggestive narratives. He has an intense appreciation for the seductive beauty of the objects themselves, yet creates compromised spectacles that hang on the edge of being ludicrous. Stapleton plays on the reflexive tendency for meaningful juxtapositions to spin toward absurdity and for the illogically inane to embrace the contemplative. Other works are loaded with both symbolic elements of contrast and unifying chaos.
“In my collages, I reconfigure found images into ambiguous narratives that often refer to the source, but mess around with the original message. Visually, I respond to the operatic sparkle and complexity – the grandly-narrated spectacle – that is the history of western art. I want to continue that high key drama in my work. My background in anthropology and art history informs how I construct these collages. I’m tethered to the possible of the story within the fragment. I play loosely with symbols and metaphors from art history, language, and religion to create new images that are strongly representational, with an attention to precise cutting and visual consistency, and a nod toward absurd, implied narrative.”