Back Talk: A Conversation with Stephanie Buer

April 23, 2012


Stephanie Buer began pursing a career in art at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan where she fell in love with the city and urban exploration. She spent the next ten years living in Detroit and developing as an artist. Her newest exhibition, Nothing Lasts Forerver, opens at Thinkspace Gallery on Saturday, April 28.


Her urban landscapes explore the many layers of history found in the marginal areas of cities. From the imprints of industry and production to its eventual decay, each subject has a historical context, an original purpose that is now lost. She is fascinated by how these places change as they succumb to the manipulation of vandals, artists and the resilience of nature ever slowly growing alongside. Through her art Stephanie seeks to find beauty and peace in these forgotten and unloved areas of cities. She currently works in Portland, Oregon at her studio in the Falcon Art Community.


1.  One reason you make art:

I know it sounds cliche but it’s so much fun, I’m so lucky that i’m able to do what i love for a living.


2.  The last good movie you saw:

180 Degrees South.


3.  Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:

I would love to climb Mt. Rainier someday.



4.  Favorite country or city visited:

I recently visited San Francisco for the first time and I loved it, I can’t wait to go back.


5.  A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:

I have found that doing what you’re passionate about, regardless of what others think will work best for your life, has always brought me great happiness.


6.  Something you want the world to know about you:

I don’t really think the world wants to know too much about me, except that I make art and I’m very excited to share what I create with them.



7.  Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:

How much time people spend interacting with their smart phones and the internet.  It seems like people have lost interest with what the real world has to offer.  There is so much more value in actual interaction with real people.


8.  Something that concerns you:

Reality Television.  Everytime I watch the movie Idiocracy, I can’t help but think that may be the direction society is headed.


9.  Artists you admire:

I love the way that Manet and Sargent use oil paint, every time I see one of their pieces in real life I can’t pull myself away.  I also really love the work of Franz Kline, Kevin Cyr, Josh Keyes and any and all street art; Kid Acne is one of my favorites right now.



10.  Favorite quote(s):

“People say, you can’t go back; Well, what happens if you get to the cliff? You can take one step forward or you can take a 180 degree turn and take one step forward. Which way are you going? Which is progress? The solution to a lot of the world’s problems is, maybe, turn around and take a forward step”  - Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins


11.  The first record or CD you ever bought?  The last album you downloaded?

The Strokes, Is this it? I know it’s not that old but I wasn’t really into music growing up...I was a strange kid.  I just downloaded M. Ward’s latest album, A Wasteland Companion.



12.  Something you do when you’re procrastinating?

Talk to my mom on the phone, hang out with friends, plan backpacking trips, practice knots for climbing, read, go for walks, go on the internet...I could go on.  I am really great at procrastinating.


13.  What is your most defining characteristic?

I get excited about the simplest of things, I’m a very enthusiastic person!



14.  What is your greatest fear?

Grizzly bears.


15.  The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:

I’ve always loved creating but when Thinkspace asked me to do what will be my first solo show, it finally felt real.



16.  Your greatest quality:

I think that I handle stress well and I’m very patient.


17.  Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:

I wish I was better at making decisions.



18.  What was the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?

Definitely quitting my job to pursue my dream of becoming a full time artist. It was totally worth it!


19.  Something you wish you had known five years ago:

That I’d be living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with a great husband who is also my best friend and doing my dream job!  It certainly would have made those long work days a little easier.



20.  What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?

I would really love to travel to Europe and do a series of paintings and drawings from cities there, and possibly show somewhere like Berlin.  Other than making and showing lots of artwork, I’m looking forward to climbing mountains with my husband and spending lots of time with family and friends.

Stephanie Buer

Nothing Lasts Forever

Opening Reception:

Sat, April 28th 5-9PM

On view April 28th through May 19th
Thinkspace Gallery

Culver City, California