Stephane Joannes


b. 1975, Besançon, France; Lives and works in Strasbourg, France

Born in 1975 in Besançon, France, Stephane Joannes studied at L’Ecole Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, France. His large oil on canvas paintings depict solitary cargo ships surrounded by the vast sky and water. The traditional subjects are made contemporary by Joannes’ clean lines, bold delineations of space and hints of abstraction.


His collection, Tankers, features large horizontal paintings of cargo ships that border on abstraction. Joannes’ paintings are typically long, horizontal pieces, sometimes diptychs or triptychs over eight feet long. He divides his paintings into three distinct sections: the sea, the sky, and the sea vessel on the horizon. The air and water seem vast and are often blocked off with a single, bold color. His ships, on the other hand, are incredibly detailed with each drip of rust and weathering carefully articulated. These orange and brown drops reveal not only the ship’s past but also the painting’s history: they are visible evidence of the painter’s brushstrokes and artistic process. The busy, overlapping vertical streaks provide an interesting contrast to the otherwise clean, precise lines the artist uses.