Sebastian Spreng isn’t your typical artist. The talented painter has suffered from muscular dystrophy since he was born. Confined to a wheelchair since the age of 12, the 55 year-old grows increasingly weaker ever year.
Unable to hold up his arms (his left hand, with which he paints, is held up with a strap) and reach across a sprawling canvas, Spreng’s paintings have become pint sized but that doesn’t mean they aren’t poignant. Of his reduced canvas size Steng says, “I had to reduce the size of my canvases out of need, but it’s also pushed me to concentrate on the drama and energy in the paintings.”
His work is reminiscent of the 19th century when visual art, music, and poetry were combining to produce meaningful masterpieces. According to Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts and Miami program director of the Knight Foundation, “His deep knowledge of painting and music allows him to seamlessly travel across both disciplines and use one to inform the other.”
His latest exhibit, “Salad Bar”, features 250 of his small paintings ranging in size from five to eight square inches arranged in shelves to present in a “buffet-style” look.
Definitely worth taking a look, Steng’s exhibit is more than just beautiful art, it’s a testimony to perseverance and determination against his disease.
“Salad Bar” is on display at the Kelley Roy Gallery located at 50 NE 29th Street, Miami, Fl. 33137 until June 30th.