Poking Fun At Phobias: Athens Illustrator Confronts Fear Through Art

Taylor Evans

Updated Thu, May 24, 2012 12:13 pm
Photo Credit: 
Stephen Richter

People deal with their phobias in a variety of ways. Confronting them, ignoring them, denying their existence. Illustrator Steve Richter draws them.

On Monday, May 14, Richter will host the opening of Steveophobia, a show at the Union Arts Gallery and Performance Space.

The 25-plus drawings deal with themes such as fear and anxiety and range in style from sketchbook excerpts to samples from his books.

Richter grew up in a house he described as 'full of books' and counts Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz and the Berenstain Bears among his influences.

"There were a lot of illustrated books that caught my attention," he said. "They sort of gave me fantastical ideas about what I could do."

Richter describes his work as playful, fun and very personal and enjoys drawing maps, caricatures and toads.

In addition to his work as a freelance illustrator, Richter has self-published several books, including Atomic Yardsale and Existential Fish, which are available at Athens bookstores.

"A lot of it is very autobiographical. A lot of it is making fun of myself," he said. "The whole subject of Steveophobia is making fun of my personal fears and anxieties."

Nevertheless, Richter hopes that the audience can identify with his drawings, "because everyone has their own fears and anxieties."

Steveophobia opens Monday, May 14 at Union Arts with a free reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show will be open weekends through May.

Prints from the show will be on sale at the gallery. For more information, visit www.steverichterart.com.

Photo Credit: 
Stephen Richter