February 1 - 26, 2018
"I have spina bifida. I am a disabled artist. For the first time in my artistic practice, I am examining how people like me, who live with this condition, view themselves and seek to claim their power and beauty."
"Body image remains a relevant topic in many different contexts. "Front to Back" focuses on the context of disability. Spina Bifida often results in the necessity of using a wheelchair. People look down on us literally and figuratively. We have historically suffered great indignity for sake of medical education. Being the subject of treatment and learning is an experience many of us share.
My intent with "Front to Back" was to make work in collaboration with those I photograph as a way to help us reclaim lost dignity and a sense of control over what happens to us. Audiences for the images in this project will see people first. People whose lives have meaning and are beautiful."
About the Artist
Steve Kean is a photographer originally from Sudbury who has been living in Toronto for the past 24 years. He came to photography while in high school where he was failing art class. Kean’s disability made it difficult for him to draw or paint, but he still had a burning need to create art. A camera was the answer for him.
Steve describes himself as both a disabled photographer and a photographer with a disability. He identifies as a disabled photographer because he lives and creates art in a world that is not designed to accommodate him and his wheelchair.
His images challenge the viewer to think about how people with disabilities see and interact with the world they share with able-bodied people. Steve seeks to capture the moment(s) that can define his subjects and their place in society.