Stephanie Armbruster works primarily as an encaustic painter and printmaker, creating luminous, translucent surfaces by suspending pigment and imagery between layers of resin and molten wax. Stephanie was born in 1983 in Cleveland, Ohio. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2001 to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where she received a BFA in 2006. Currently, Stephanie maintains a studio at the Mine Factory in Pittsburgh’s East End.
“Everything that can be said, can be said clearly. And what we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein
Someone once told me that everything we see in dreams, we have already seen in some form in life. Assume for a moment that this is true and that our dreams are the manifestations of our memories. Ghosts of our own experience, given agency through the depth and intensity of nostalgia and emotion. Through my work, I aim to create an impression of these ghosts; to share some sense of that which I cannot describe.
I am inspired by navigating transitional and abandoned places; points of departure, penciled in the margins of our lives, where the rules and expectations of conventional social reality no longer apply. These liminal spaces are that which we cannot speak about; thresholds between what we are able to define and what has yet to be discovered. Temporary autonomous zones, where we are free to create a new story, or participate in a scene already unfolding.
Much like their inspiration, each painting is a densely layered accumulation of structure and symbolism: a small personal legacy, and a habitat for ghosts.