Gallery 235 at the Rubenstein Arts Center 2020 Campus Dr Durham,
I use three icons—a pawn, corn and a horse—to investigate ideologies that laid the foundation for the current ingrained racial injustice in American society. My goal is to open my audience’s mind to racial bias through my wall reliefs, mixed media sculpture and woodcuts. I work with everyday found objects so that I can give new life to disregarded materials. These fundamental interests originated in my childhood, when my mother would bring home old mechanical parts from work and encourage me to get creative with them. That sparked my imagination and was the catalyst for my art-making practices. I use discarded found objects in conjunction with newly made work to comment on values.
My current work fuses the past and the present, generally based on socio-economic cultural themes in American history: capitalism, commodification of human beings and their subsequent brainwashing effects. The emphasis on this recurring imagery creates a thread between individual pieces in my repertoire and lets me speak directly to larger societal issues that are rooted in the racial structuring of society.
See Stephen Hayes: Identity and Economic Exploitation at North Carolina Central University Art Museum this fall. Hayes, a Durham native, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina Central University in 2006 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2010. He has participated in residencies at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., and the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C. Hayes work has been exhibited in well-known museums throughout the south, including the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Ga., and the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Miami-based Haitian artist Édouard Duval-Carrié is in Durham for Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom, an event series paired with an art exhibit at the Power Plant Gallery (on view through mid-November).