CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF FINE ARTStephen has the ethereal ability to resurrect paintings, irrespective of their condition. This rare skill was developed during his apprenticeship under his father-in-law, Marty Katz, and is accomplished in accordance with what Marty referred to as "tenets" or "prerequisites" in the practice of art. According to Marty, the mission of the conservator should be precisely what the term implies, to conserve what is extant and replace what is indeed missing. When works of art, principally paintings, suffer surface trauma with attendant pigment loss, the conservator should be hidebound by doctrine which ideally results in the subversion of his own creativity. He must be capable, when need be, of kicking over completely the traces of his own hand, while simulating pigment facture and matching everything lost in precisely the same touch intrinsic to its creation. The conservator should be conversant with styles of pigment application employed by the masters, i.e., scumbling, impasto, sfumato (glazing), and underpainting. On occasion, he will called upon to inpaint a hand, mouth, nose, ear, eye, or, conceivably, the leg of a goat on a canvas centuries old. Therefore, he should be a trained academician with a profound knowledge of anatomy, perspective, tone, color, drawing, and chemical restoratives. Possessing the knowledge to identify a painting is also a skill integral to success as a conservator.
REPAIR, REFINISHING, AND REGILDING OF ANTIQUE ORNAMENTAL FRAMESStephen is a master in this rare art form, allowing him to repair missing pieces of ornate frames that have suffered damage over the centuries. He is also called upon to refinish or regild both antique and contemporary frames to create new looks for one-of-a-kind mirrors.