The Brushstrokes of Time's Transformation

Todays News


When Steven Anton Rehage was a child, his family would go to the beach every Sunday. And when other kids would look for seashells, he would search for pirate treasure—but ultimately settle on oxidized screws and coins and bits of sea-polished driftwood of ashen grey. Far from disheartened, Rehage found something wondrous in those misshapen odds and ends, forgotten artifacts that seemingly absorbed time itself to transform into something beautiful. It’s a concept the artist continues to explore to this day, with his latest exhibition, Patina, currently on display at 530 Burns Gallery.

Comprising more than 30 works, the exhibition puts Rehage’s exploration on full display—and exploration is how the artist approaches each canvas, never knowing what will result from his latest pigment-driven pathfinding. “Each piece is a page in a guide,” he says. “You never really know where you’re going, but you’ve got to be confident and just go.”

And Rehage dives right in, concocting his own paints from great blends of metallic acrylics, colored latex and inks—some creating their own chemical reactions in echo of the oxidization Rehage seeks to glorify. Sometimes he uses a paintbrush or even a roller, and other times he splashes and pours, letting the liquids wash over the canvas like waves lapping the shore. “By working with the canvas, it tells me its story,” he says. And while multiple paintings may emerge from one session, no two will look alike.

A painting can receive as many as 60 layers, with some paints drying fast while others pool and puddle, but all ultimately creating that richly textured surface that makes audiences confuse Rehage’s work for burled wood or weathered copper. And just as audiences applaud that copper’s transformation from soft blue to bold turquoise, Rehage hopes they appreciate a similar shift within themselves.

“Despite our age or our defects, we continue to shine, we continue to be beautiful, we continue to be whole,” he says. “Even if we’re broken or damaged, we have this natural beauty—a natural patina—that comes with age.”

Currently on display at 530 Burns Gallery, Patina runs through April 10.

Pictured: "Frequency" by Steven Anton Rehage.

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