Stefan Gec’s practise includes works of a wide range of media including sculpture, film and photography as well as computer generated animation. His work draws directly on his father’s experience as a refugee from the Ukraine following the Second World War and engages with the culture of warfare and military innovation in sculptures built from replicas, models and objects related to the history of conflict. His sculptures are often large scale and made from industrial materials and salvaged weapons. In one work, Gentle Circuit of 2012, vast tyres from a discarded South African DC10 cargo plane are set in motion with motors – the spluttering, ineffective machine evokes themes of the arms race, globalization and the futility of war. He is preocuppied by history and technology and the ways in which machines like submarines, satellites and space stations may reveal and illuminate the social, political and cultural contexts that created them. Gec's work is both abstract and loaded with complex technical constructions, messages and references.
His engagement with his father’s history has led to work using repurposed scrapped metal from de-commissioned Soviet submarines and casting them into bells, large scale photographs of firemen who died at Chernobyl, through to a model and computer animation of a Trident nuclear submarine. More recently, he made works using the giant centrifuge at Star City, the cosmonaut training centre located near Moscow. These works suggest alternative narratives and offer stark commentary about our contemporary world and its rapidly changing technology and visions of the future.
Stefan Gec was born in Huddersfield in 1958 and studied at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic and the Slade Shool of Art, London. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the UK and was one of the shortlisted artists asked to present a proposal for the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square by the National Gallery in London. Alongside a number of major comissioned pieces, his work is represented in numerous public collections and museums in the UK and internationally.