Steven Merahn is a self-taught artist currently focused on creating sculpture that use organic materials such as wood and cardboard. 

His work is intended to reflect on relationships and evoke connection, both in its capacity to comfort and to confuse; these experiences play out in his use of sculptural form to consider situation, balance, condition, and contingency

He has maintained four decades of artistic practice in conjunction with human services careers that have shaped his perspective on the lyricism, kinetics and precarity of the human condition. His early works were based on impressions of his environment such as a flock of birds, a broken taillight, a rock face, or tire tracks in a parking lot.  Over time his practice evolved to both spontaneous abstract expressions and narrative elements in large-scale paintings and improvisational wooden constructions. 

His work is driven by the belief that subconscious map by which we decipher the world develops through interactions with abstraction, whether in nature, lived experience, or created de novo.  

Proportional relationships and fluidity of line are integral to Merahn’s display of work. He envisions his work at a human-sized scale or larger, to achieve emotional parity with the viewer.  His palate is warm and organic but references cool highlights, going beyond the mere presence of color to demonstrate how diverse phenotypical features can find inclusive convergence.  


Steven Merahn (b. 1956) is a self-taught artist from New York.  By age 10, he mastered the use of tools to take broken things apart: clocks, toasters, washing machines. By age 14 he had set up his own black and white photography darkroom; high school shop classes in printing, wood, and metalwork provided additional technical skills in making things. During college he designed and made furniture out of plywood; while in medical school he documented in drawings his awe while caring for sick children in the hospital, and began experimenting with color: grid-based abstractions along the lines of Bridget Riley and Agnes Martin.  During his post-graduate medical training he used museums and art galleries as a form of self-care, immersing himself in the work of Abstract and Neo-Expressionists, and began painting. His first works were one-off abstract images based on impressionistic sketches of environmental observations; over time a practice evolved driven by defined challenges related to quality of line, improvisation, and narrative expression.  His artistic practice contributed to his work in public health:  his graphic design for a first-aid poster remains in NYC childcare centers to this day.

In the mid-1980’s he began making large improvisational wooden constructions that were painted with figurative elements designed to evoke narrative.  He subsequently spent a decade in advertising during which time he shifted his personal creative focus to producing music and theater.  He returned to visual art in the early 2000’s with a focus on sculpture: wooden maquettes for imagined one- and two-story steel sculptures.

Until recently his focus has been on making over showing; his art practice was always parallel but peripheral to his other career focus in healthcare and human service. The social experience of the COVID pandemic brought him the realization of how the power of abstraction has been foundational for his understanding of the human experience, breaking down the self-imposed boundary between his two worlds.  With a new direction to his work, and 4 decades of work in his portfolio, he is ready to share his work with the world.

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