Stef Plichta


Stef Plichta has trained in both traditional fine art and decorative painting, having studied for a BFA (2010) in painting at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago and working as a faux-finish artist for an interior design company in New York City. Maintaining an interest in the power and social history of decorative art, her work has ranged in its concerns and technical approaches. She began her time at the MFA programme exploring the object use of art as capitalist commodity, to exploring the hierarchical status given to ‘art’ and ‘craft’, to her current interest in images from historically religious settings as serving not only didactic narrative purposes, but of engendering power structures, both overtly and implicitly. After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art with an MFA in spring 2015, she will be based in Liverpool, England.


Considering the changing power of the image throughout history, I am interested in identifying the parallels between ancient and contemporary visual strategies. In mining the legacy of stained glass and manuscript imagery to create a new painted tableaux based on the compositions of celebrity magazines, superhero comics, and even mainstream news media, I am interrogating how portrayals of power, status, gender, and fear have changed in our collective memory through images.


  • I. Incipiens “Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? Or, having it, is satisfied?” William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  • II. In Medias “Those who lived by the sword were forced to die by it. It was as if everything would lead to sorrow, so long as man refused to forget the past.” T H White, The Once and Future King
  • III. Finis Est “War, dreadful war, and the Tiber foaming with much blood. This I see.” V. 86 Virgil, The Aeneid
  • IV. In Situ, Bench, functional