“Utilising his mixed-media approach as the catalyst and vehicle for addressing these issues, Stephen aims to uncover a dialogue between surfing communities and gay culture, as well as reckon with his own personal investigation of gay identity.” By Ayla Angelos for It’s Nice That!
The source of the photographs in A Spiritual Good Time is from various surfing magazines published before 1990. The appropriated images from mass-printed surf culture is a meditation on the perpetual pursuit of pleasure. It is a blending of fear and desire within a sport that often focused on the heterosexual gaze, hyper-masculinity, localism and the gossamer tipped dream of all inclusiveness and spirituality. Through tight cropping and editing of the editorial tropes of surf photography, the images are re-contextualized into a loose narrative of the contradictory forces at play.
Stephen Milner is an artist working in sculpture, photography, video and installation. He received his BFA in photography in 2013 from the Savannah College of Art and Design and his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Oregon where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellowship from 2015 to 2018. His work has been published online and in print by magazines like The Brooklyn Rail, It’s Nice That! Collective Quarterly, Oxford American, PDN, Time, iGnant, Juxtapoz, Boooooom!, Humble Arts Foundation among many others.