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Youthful Alienation and Aggression: Art by Stephen Shearer

A drawing in red crayon of a long-haired, bearded man blowing bubblesBubbles, crayon on paper

Based in Vancouver, BC, Stephen Shearer is an artist who works in the traditional mediums of painting, drawing, photography and collage. He began his artistic career among the artists now associated with the Vancouver School of photo-conceptualism, and while he is not directly affiliated with them, their influence is palpable in his practice.


A painting of two male "heavy metal"  figures in various muted tonesThe Fauves

Shearer is most noted for making work that explores themes of youthful alienation and aggression. His work is certainly the type of art that seems to come from an emotional place rather than one of calculation or reference. Heavy metal music is a running theme throughout much of Shearer’s practice, and a metal-appreciator myself I really like the way he uses metal symbolism and lyrics as well as portraits of stereotypical metal fans to both reinforce a cohesive, mythical image, as well as subvert the idea that metal is purely about anger and aggression, or without a cause. He brings a human face, compassionate if mislead, to an idea that is sometimes shrouded in darkness.


A painting of a young man with long hair in a traditional portrait poseHash

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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