Steph Terao was born in 1985 in Evanston, Illinois. After attending Skidmore College for visual art, she lived in Brooklyn, NY for many years working as a freelance builder and artist assistant. Eschewing the traditional white cube gallery, Terao’s most recent painting show took place at a Vietnamese restaurant in Ridgewood, Queens and opened to rave reviews. In 2018 Terao moved to an island in the Pacific Northwest where she currently makes ceramics and continues to explore painting unrealistic landscapes inspired by the surrounding Puget Sound and trips to the desert.
Artist Statement I paint landscapes that are fantastical and idealized. At first, these might be seen as a series of tropical oasese or pristine wonderlands. Yet embedded in each is an underlying anxiety, a call to the effects of climate change that threaten the future of any beautiful place. Perhaps our oceans will become toxic and extreme heat, generational floods, and raging wildfires will turn once temperate environments into scorched earth. But as philosopher J. Goldblum says in the much beloved film Jurassic Park “Life, uh, finds a way.”