As an aspiring artist, I am always looking for new coffee shops, galleries, and other small businesses in the San Fernando Valley that support local artists. After discovering Steampunk Coffeebar & Kitchen, not only was I happy to find delicious treats and coffee, but also a new style of art: Steampunk! So what is this interesting genre all about? I had to find out.
To paraphrase Steampunk.com, Steampunk is actually a literary genre ….. of science fiction and fantasy that includes social or technological aspects of the 19th century (the steam) usually with some deconstruction of, re-imagining of, or rebellion against parts of it (the punk).
The first known appearance of the term, steampunk was in 1987 as a tongue-in-cheek variant of “cyberpunk”, though it now subsequently refers to many works of fiction created even as far back as the 1950s or 1960s, with science fiction and fantasy coinciding with Victorian-era scientists.
Steampunk Art is therefore, inspired by the industrialized Western culture of the 19th century, often re-visioning steam-powered machinery from the Victorian era with retro-futuristic inventions as may have been envisioned by the people of that time, with a nod to the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, and architectural style.
Over the years, Steampunk has evolved into more than just a sub-genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It now extends into fashion, engineering, music, and for some, a lifestyle.
Special thanks to Amy Cohen, owner of Steampunk Coffeebar and Kitchen, for her gracious time and help with this Blog. Amy also supports local artists by exhibiting their work at her business. It is a pleasure and privilege to have been invited by Amy to exhibit some of my recent graphite works at her lovely establishment.
Jessica Lee Sanders is the office manager at Pastimes for a Lifetime Art and Piano School, Valley Glen, California. Founder/Instructor, Linda Wehrli (aka the boss) is supportive of Jessica’s artistic and journalistic creativity.