Steven Evans, Studies for Loss I, Don't Leave Me This Way, archival pigment print, 10 x 8”, edition of 10, 2020
“Now of all the bonds between homosexual friends, none was greater than that between friends who danced together. The friend you danced with, when you had no lover, was the most important person in your life; and for people who went without lovers for years, that was all they had.”
-Andrew Holleran, form “Dancer from the Dance,” 1978
“…Evans’s simple artworks synecdochally symbolize an era, conjuring both the feel-good spirit of disco and the staggering devastation on the plague years. They ignite this emotional terrain and invoke the feel of it all: the exuberant optimism of sexual and cultural revolution on the dance floor followed by the massive loss of life, and the death of faith that society and government will esteem and safeguard its citizenry.”
-Julie Ault, from “I’ll Take You There,” essay for “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution” exhibition catalogue, 2019
In a career that has spanned more than three decades, artist Steven Evans has consistently explored the connections between music, language, memory, identity, and collectivity. The notion of “movement” is multivalent in Evans’s oeuvre; it is simultaneously individual and collective, physical and political. His work communicates a sense of communal celebration and spirited resistance.
When Evans arrived in New York, New York in the late 1980s, he became involved in two scenes that fundamentally shaped his artistic practice: activism and dance music. As a member of agit-prop and activist groups like ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), Queer Nation, and Visual AIDS, Evans sought to share information to educate and protect the public from the ravages of the AIDS epidemic through various forms of public demonstration. At the same time, Evans was excited by the burgeoning dance music scene, which brought together individuals from diverse backgrounds to commune and celebrate on dance floors. Steven Evans has continued to explore these themes of individual and collective experience, history, memory, and activism over the years, in a variety of media, most recently in solo exhibitions at Jonathan Hopson Gallery and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) in 2019.
He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; Houston, Texas; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; and elsewhere, including recent inclusion in the group exhibitions Macho Man, Tell It To My Heart at Artists Space, New York, New York, and Powerful Babies, Keith Haring’s Impact on Artists Today at Spritmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden.
Born in Key West, Florida, he earned a BFA in photography at the Atlanta College of Art, Georgia, and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada in 1989. Evans is an artist, writer, curator, and Executive Director of the award-winning arts organization FotoFest, which founded and sponsors the first and longest-running international Biennial of Photography and New Media Art in the United States.
Evans is supporting The Montrose Center and the Hatch Youth Program which serves Houston as the city’s major community and health center focused on LGBTQ health, wellness, and social issues. The Montrose Center empowers this community—primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their families—to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. The Montrose Center envisions a healthier society marked by permanent, positive changes in attitudes and behaviors toward the LGBTQ communities, and the ability of all LGBTQ individuals to realize their fullest potential. The Hatch Program is a youth program that fosters support and community to LGBTQ youth.