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Dimitri Stevens

Dimitri Stevens: Life Through Art and Ice Cream 

Dimitri Stevens is a local artist, who is originally from Oakland, TN. He gets his inspiration from the things that surround him. 

“To create art in a sense it’s trying to make sense of chaos. That’s why I get inspired by everything I see,” said Stevens.

As one might imagine, it’s not hard for Stevens to think outside of the box and he prides himself on his ability to do so. He shows this pride through his creation called “Recluse Gallery.” The name was inspired by the brown recluse spider. Stevens gets inspired by this spider because in a way it mirrors Stevens himself. The Brown Recluse Spider is unique. It has 8 legs but only 6 eyes and it stays hidden. Stevens identifies with the ways of this spider. The way that the spider stays tucked away “off the web” just like Stevens who doesn’t have the biggest social media presence. Stevens says that he himself is a loner and can do his best work and his best learning that way. 

Stevens is an artist that likes to take risks and chances. He enjoys thinking outside of the box and one of the exercises he does to inspire himself to think outside the box is to create multiple paintings before creating a bigger form of art. Stevens was able to do this at the Brooks Museum, where he’s worked since 2012. He originally started out painting about a hundred wine glasses with sugary treats before he got the idea to paint ice cream cones. His simple idea ended up leading him toward artists who also painted ice cream cones. Stevens began to see the ice cream cone in a different way and he started to think a little deeper about the summertime delight.

To Stevens, the ice cream cone is an image that portrays many items and ideas: feminine and masculine energy, pop art, religion, feelings, being balanced, and freedom. The ideas of freedom and feminine and masculine energy are two ideas that resonate with Stevens as an artist to him the ice cream cone is a shape with everything in between and he gets to fill up space however and with whatever he wants. To Stevens, the actual physical object of ice cream also represents a tug and pull of masculine and feminine energy as the ice cream goes from something hard, frozen, and cold, and it transitions to something soft, flowing, and warm as it melts. He likes to call it “masculine and feminine energy arguing with each other.”