St Francis Elevator Ride (the artist occasionally known as Josh Breeden) was born, reared and learned in the great state of Tennessee. He received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee at Martin before fleeing to Memphis for a soulless gig in a corporate print shop. Eventually, he found his way to an excellent creative agency, Loaded For Bear, where he earns his keep by day as Senior Art Director. By night, he’s a freelance machine, cranking out article illustrations, band posters, album art and brand identities, each informed by the jittery pop culture apparitions lurking in his fume-addled mind.
SFER’s body of work blurs the line between design and fine art, incorporating both commercial and experimental techniques. The artist has a type of faux nostalgia for lives not his own: grainy photos of atomic families posed in cigarette ads, immaculate typefaces lost to the ages, faded halftones with untold stories hiding between the dots.
VICE / CREATORS
THE DAILY BILLBOARD
The body of work, dripping in a charming sort of irony, is made in a way that parallels its content. Like the Cleaver-esque family before the television, the viewer is seduced and transfixed by St. Francis Elevator Ride’s images. The eye is manipulated by an expert understanding of color; opposite colors like green and magenta alternate and flash at break-neck speed, forcing a sort of optical illusion that commands attention (this technique was widely employed by Andy Warhol). As technology and media integrate seamlessly into our home lives, our sense of identity shifts in challenging new directions; from these charming gifs, we might draw insight into the changing definitions of personal agency, selfhood, and intimacy.
~ Beautiful Decay Magazine
"There’s something about St. Francis Elevator Ride’s work that entrances – the impressive levels of detail, colour and attention, perhaps, that do more than merely hint at the artist’s drive; the versatility of his portfolio which features animated work, designs, collages and mixed media pieces; or maybe the quantity of personality which the American artist displays through his craft and not merely through his quirky pseudonym. These assets are nothing less than admirable and they transpire through our exchange with the artist and art director, who gives us a fascinating snapshot of the world in which he lives."
~ NeverLazy Magazine
"As our imago of household appliances are associated with the domestication of the feminine quality, what St. Francis Elevator Ride’s ‘Lush Interiors’ arouses is the saturation point of the malleable phylogenesis of a language ladened primate, coming to terms with an inflexible virtual reality infused consumerist defined usefulness. It is a melting away of male dominator values and reemergence or reintegration with the feminine, or what James Joyce called “the mama matrix most mysterious”.
~ Visual Melt
THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE
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Heart Throbs - 2011. Joint Exhibit with Joseph Kendrick. Odessa. Memphis, TN
untitled Spring Roll - 2012. Group Show. Nashville, TN
$ORRY - 2012. Group Show. Spring Broad Ave. Art Walk. Memphis, TN.
untitled Hot Mess - 2012. Group Show. Welcome to 1979. Nashville, TN
Bikesploitation - 2013. Group Show. Crosstown Arts. Memphis, TN
UTM Alumni Exhibit - 2013. Group Show. University of Tennessee at Martin
Send Me the Details: ERF Retrospective - 2013 Group Show. Visible Music School Memphis TN
Fabric of Paradise - 2014. Solo Exhibit. Crosstown Arts, Memphis TN.
gif.local - 2014. Group Show. Governor's Island. New York, New York.
The Replacements - 2014. Group Show. Southfork Memphis Gallery. Memphis, TN
Laser Cat - 2014. Group Show - Animated Projection / Installation Exhibition. New York, New York.
ART RISE: Savannah's Gif Art Festival - 2015. Group Show - Animated Projection. Savannah, GA
LUSH INTERIORS - Spring 2016. Solo Exhibit. Memphis Botanical Gardens. Memphis, TN
ANATOMYA - Fall 2016 ArtBio. Online Exhibition. Brazil.
DIGITAL_LUV <3 - Winter 2016. Group Show Curated by GIRLS & KALTBLUT Magazine - Berlin, Germany
Omnivorous Eyes: Art + Design Retrospective - January 2017. Fine Arts Building. University of Tennessee at Martin
LUSH INTERIORS - Nov - Dec 2017. Solo Exhibit. Channel to Channel Gallery. Nashville, TN