Before the tape started rolling, Clintel Steed and I had a pretty epic conversation. We met at a happening—and loud!—bar restaurant in Harlem, the Corner Social, a few blocks away from where he lives and works. It was one of the last summer nights, and the neighborhood was pulsing with energy. Too loud to record, we avoided the subject of painting, instead just catching up.
There is no small talk with Clintel, of course. I’ve known him for years, running into him at the Met on Friday nights and events at the New York Studio School. This past spring, Steed had a solo exhibition at Art Amalgamated.
Steed is passionate and intense and I like to accuse him of being a mind-reader (or, as our mutual friend puts it—he is just very perceptive—after all, he’s a painter!). So, we talked about romantic love, the home, the idealization of it all, and the things that get in the way. Like our phones, of course, interrupting us, penetrating our private time and space. The thing is, Clintel’s work is all about the same issue. Broken-up space, fractured forms, and the resulting rhythms. The potential and scope of what we can see, and the complex tumult that ultimately organizes it all.