Steve Keene: Artist Bio

Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

“This guy must be the most prolific artist of all time and his process is fascinating; it’s a must-see show!” – Shepard Fairey, Subliminal Projects

Steve Keene is a Brooklyn-based multi-media artist who has uniquely showcased his work internationally. His focus series include hand painted multiples, wood sculpture and Tattooed Plywood. Though Keene earned his Masters of Fine Arts from Yale, his sensibilities lie somewhere between environmental architect, poster designer, woodworker and classical painter.

His work ethic may be second to none. With an estimated 300,000 pieces in public and private collections, Keene’s hand painted multiples editions make him one of the most prolific artists ever. Taking a cue from screen printing and woodworking, he is well-known among independent music fans for creating original album artwork, video sets, stage sets and posters for such musical luminaries as Silver Jews, Pavement, The Apples in stereo, Soul Coughing, The Klezmatics and The Dave Matthews Band, amongst others.

Keene likes to think of his work as an endless painting with no boundaries – one that becomes an environment for people to participate. Watching him work on hand painted multiples is mysterious and engaging – the colors and strokes build over time in a rhythmic pattern and the form emerges much like a building takes shape as the bricks are laid. People watch, wait and ultimately walk away with an actual piece of his ongoing endless painting right in their hands.

SK’s most recent show “Modular Synthesis“, at Shepard Fairy’s Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles, showcased his iconic Album Art Tribute paintings, Los Angeles points of interest and his new Tattooed Plywood series.

In Summer 2014, Keene was the Artist In Residence for The Brooklyn Public Library, gaining recognition for his first official New York City show by performing his live painting exhibition on The Central Library Plaza, 3 days per week for over 3 months. This unique performance brought art to literally thousands of people over the course of his residency.

Keene has been covered on the pages and airwaves of National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Spin, The Brooklyn Paper and Filter, amongst many others. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams named June 14, 2014 Steve Keene Day throughout the City of Brooklyn.


Subliminal Projects (Los Angeles, CA)
Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn, NY)
Goethe Institute (Washington, DC)
Goch Museum (Goch, Germany)
The Tanks (Cairns, Australia)
Moore College of Art (Philadelphia, PA)
Rice University (Houston, TX)
The Museum Ludwig (Cologne, Germany)
The Santa Monica Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
The Linden Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne, Australia)
The Czech Centre (London, UK)
The Museum of the Gulf Coast (Port Arthur, TX)

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