Jef Steingrebe

 So I was in the Dentist chair the other day and the Hygienist asked "So what do you paint?" as she readied me for a shot of Novocain.  Landscapes? Portraits? Still Lifes?  "No" I said Nothing like that.  More like Ummmm... Allegorical Pop Art, lately sort of a combination of  highway signs and stereo instructions. BUT  with bright colors.  Blank stare.  "OH?" said she. 


Fact is it would be impossible for me to jump out of my skin, I'm stuck in it.  I have been around American country antiques and Folk Art since I was a child.   Through Puberty and Art  school and Penn State and a long happy marriage.   Searching for it, lusting after it,buying it, selling it, studying it.  To think that it isn't a part of everything I do is silly.  Other artists though have given me permission to do what I do and how I do it.  Alberto Giacometti has convinced me to feel comfortable with my naturally nervous searching line.  Matisse ahh... Matisse has made everything OK.  Picasso puts me in my place at every turn, indeed puts everybody in their place.  de Kooning from the 40s and 50s who I imagine imploring me in broken English "For Christ Sakes Paint Don't Tickle!"  The two Andy W's, Wyeth who could paint lonely better then anyone should be able to, and Warhol who made it clear it was time to change everything around, and appear NOT! so serious.

So as Popeye the Sailor Man proudly proclaims to the world "I Yam what I Yam and that's all that I Yam!"  That's really the best any of us can hope for.

So I make things