Doug Stapleton

Glimmen by Doug Stapleton
11.75″x7.75″; collage on paper; 2014

Doug Stapleton
Chicago, Illinois, USA


In my collages, I cut and re-configure found images to set up ambiguous narratives that often refer to the original source, but mess around with the message. Visually I respond to the operatic shimmer, sparkle and complexity—the grandly narrated spectacle—that is the history of western art. I want to continue that high key drama in my work.

My background in anthropology and art history informs how I construct these collages. I’m tethered to the possible of the story within the fragment. I play with symbols and metaphors from art history, language, and religion to create new images that are strongly representational, with an attention to precise cutting and visual consistency, and a nod toward absurd, implied narrative.


Doug Stapleton is an artist, curator and educator. He is an Assistant Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and an adjunct faculty in the Interdisciplinary Arts graduate program at Columbia College Chicago. Stapleton’s work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in 2012.

A former Artistic Associate with the Chicago-based contemporary dance company The Seldoms, he had worked on eleven evening-length dance performances in the capacity of dramaturg and as a performer. Prior to his work with The Seldoms, he has performed in over forty solo and collaborative performances since 1989. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and a BA in Anthropology from University of Delaware with a minor concentration in Art History and Ceramics.


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Dyke by Doug Stapleton
9.75″x7.5″; collage on paper; 2013

Ginny by Doug Stapleton
8 5/8″x7 7/8″; collage on paper; 2013

Stealing Happiness by Doug Stapleton
Stealing Happiness
8″x7″; collage on paper; 2013

La Familia Camillia by Doug Stapleton
La Familia Camillia
9″x6.5″; collage on paper; 2013