Rob Stephenson

Artist Statement

In his collection of short stories, Memories of the Space Age, author JG Ballard writes of a near future in which the infrastructure of the US Space Program has been abandoned, its gantries left to decay into the Florida swamp, its astronauts drifting in an endless orbit.

When the last Space Shuttle took off from Kennedy Space Center in 2011, a community defined by the dreams of the Space Age was, like Ballard’s astronauts, cast adrift. What was once the lynchpin of the community’s identity vanished overnight taking away thousands of jobs and tourists in the process. Pride and promise were replaced by a nostalgia for the future as the landscape gradually started to resemble Ballard’s fictional depictions.

Ballard’s recurring motifs - run down motels, empty swimming pools and overgrown jungles - occupy that ambiguous realm between dream and reality, between past and future, and between nature and technology. These pictures are a portrayal of that space. 



From Roof to Table, Camera Club of New York, New York, NY 2012 From Roof to Table, Next American City, Philadelphia, PA 2012

Staten Island Unlimited, Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island, NY 2016 Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition,Denton TX 2016
Evidence, Format Photography Festival Derby, UK 2015
Homeland [In] Security, Dorsky Gallery, New York, NY, 2014
Grand Prix de la Decouverte, Salon de la Photo, Paris, Fr, 2013
Rebels, Photoville, New York, NY, 2013
On Purpose, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
Greenbridge, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
Home, Umbrella Arts, New York, NY 2012
Amplify Action, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2012
Renaissance Photography Prize London UK, 2012
Annual Benefit Auction, Camera Club of New York, New York, NY, 2012 ‘Scapes, Brooklyn Artists Gym, Brooklyn, NY 2011
Lehman College 25th Anniversary Salon, Bronx, NY, 2010
Landscape Interrupted, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ 2010 Onward, Project Basho, Philadelphia, PA, 2009
Click, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY 2008
Surprisingly Natural, Lehman College, Bronx, NY 2008
Hey Hot Shot, Jen Bekman Gallery, New York, NY, 2005

Winner, Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Solo Show Award
Finalist, 2013 International Fine Art Photography Award
2013 NYFA artist fellowship
Recipient of the 2012 Camera Club of New York Darkroom Residency, New York, NY Recipient of the Design Trust for Public Space’s 2011 Photo Urbanism Fellowship, New York, NY

From Roof to Table 2012, Design Trust for Public Space