Stephanie Crawford (b. 1942) moved from Detroit to New York in the 1970s, and at 36, got a scholarship to pursue an MFA at Pratt, where she developed a close friendship with the influential East Village trans artist Greer Lankton. Crawford’s paintings of flowers and boxes of candy are tokens of beauty and appreciation any diva would come to expect from adoring fans. In addition to her work as a visual artist, Crawford is a celebrated jazz singer—the music of modernity and self-invention. In the 1980s she performed regularly in the 1980s Downtown New York scene—at the Blue Note in the Village and the Pyramid Club on Avenue A—and bridged the world of blues and drag. From 1989 to 1996, she taught jazz vocals in Paris and received the prestigious award ‘Django D’Or’ for Best International Jazz Vocalist in 1993. A practicing Buddhist, Crawford now lives in Oakland, where she continues to paint, perform and teach. ‘Teaching was how I was able to survive,’ she says. In 2020, a profile on Crawford and her art was published in Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula magazine, recent watercolors were included in (Nothing but) Flowers at Karma, NY.
Know Wave: The Extraordinary Stephanie Crawford at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, New York City, January 2020
Stephanie Crawford, Still Life with Green Vase, 2016, Watercolor on paper, 22 × 15 inches
Stephanie Crawford, Chocolates #2, 2016, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 15 inches
Stephanie Crawford, Chocolates #3, 2016, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 15 inches
Souls Grown Diaspora, apexart, NY, Stephanie Crawford, 2020, Archival materials, dimensions variable.
Stephanie Crawford, Still Life with Lemons, 2016, watercolor on paper, 22 × 15 inches
Stephanie Crawford, Flowers on Tablecloth, 2016, watercolor on paper, 22 × 15 inches
Stephanie Crawford, Self-Portrait with Bouquet, 2016, Charcoal on newsprint, 18 x 24 inches