In my work I am searching for that fragile border where figure and space overlap. The figure is the space, they become objects as well. Different sources, such as film stills, seventies handbooks on how to be a good housewife, personal photographs, patterns from fabrics and wallpaper are combined in a collage style image. I try to create a new space where one can sense a tension between the comforting idea of a safe home, versus the longing to escape. I do consider my work as autobiographic. The way the painting is structured reflects the experience of how memories come back, not in a proper order. They are triggered by unexpected things, there is a kind of randomness in how one remembers something. Paintings don't describe things, but they're made to evoke something.
"Stephanie Maeseele's style of painting touches the fragile border area where drawing and painting meets. It's that magical point where painters within the evolution of painting have started searching and where many stumbled on the question as to how the skeleton of drawings is related to the muscle mass of painting. Stephanie Maeseele has settled in this area in an almost natural manner, whereby she, at first sight, paints everyday scenes without any moralizing undertone. The people closest to her; family, friends and especially her twin sister, feed her imagination to design compositions which subtly bare the confusion element of the abundant image information. As in the case with Manet, she has managed to develop associations with both Western art history as well as current themes which go beyond their original meaning. A young woman in a summer's dress, who cools herself down with a fan, loses her innocence in the eyes of the beholder because he automatically establishes stigmatizing links with the two conversing men in the background ('Suzanna and the elders' and ‘Le dejeuner sur l'herbe' provide support). I have an indestructible weakness for paintings which refuse to charm or make concessions for temporal trends. Stephanie Maeseele's work is instantly noticeable in between the cream sauce paintings of the last decades as a result of the honest directness of her imagery, the omission of any painterly adjectives and the no-nonsense style of her subjects."
(Jan van Imschoot, painter)