Stephen Warde Anderson is a self-taught Midwestern outsider artist whose acrylic paintings depict whimsical worlds inhabited by fairies, mermaids, aliens, fabulous creatures, and glamorous ladies, often in distress. Executed in a style best described as naive classicism, his work is characterized by bright colors, strong line, stylized, formal composition, and with its mix of fairy tale like fantasy, fey humor, and social comment presents an ingenuous romanticism free of parody or irony. He is also creating a body of work of historical portraits.
Born (1953) and resident in Rockford, Illinois, Anderson has been working full-time and exhibiting nationally for over twenty years. He has had numerous one-man shows and has been represented by major dealers in Chicago, Milwaukee, Columbus OH, New York, Texas, Florida, and in the Washington, D.C. area. His paintings have also been featured as cover art for Chronicles magazine.
His work is included in the Roger Brown Study Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as in the collections of the Smithsonian Art Gallery and the Museum of Folk Art in New York. He is one of the few living painters to be profiled in the Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (Gerard C. Wertkin, New York, 2004) and is the subject of a documentary, "Fantasy Tableau" (available on Vimeo), by Milwaukee film maker Kate Balsley.