Steve Keene’s “Modular Synthesis” to Open at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects

Steve Keene’s “Modular Synthesis” to Open at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 16 • 8 – 11 pm

Exhibition Dates: January 16 – February 13, 2016

Usable images here.

SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS in collaboration with Daniel Efram presents Modular Synthesis, the solo exhibition and Los Angeles-debut of artist Steve Keene’s Tattooed Plywood series. The show will be on view at Subliminal Projects from January 16 – February 13, 2016 and will include Keene’s multimedia works including an environmental retrospective of his signature hand painted multiples.

Modular Synthesis features more than 30 of Keene’s never-before-seen tattooed plywood pieces, as well as handmade furniture and over 750 hand painted multiples.

Keene’s unique and prolific hand painted multiples are highly recognizable from the artist’s intrinsic connection and iconic works for influential bands and musicians. For Modular Synthesis, the artist pays tribute to some of the most important album art of all time including pieces in honor of The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Bob Dylan, Joy Division and many others.

For this exhibition Keene is marking his Los Angeles debut of Tattooed Plywood. The artist carves and etches each piece onto a half-inch wide plywood as his canvas; producing images of irreverently titled stacked playing cards and whimsical floral patterns against chain-link fences. Keene also produced custom frames for each of the works.

“I love to create environments and where people see my work is a huge part of how they participate,” Keene muses. “I show hundreds, if not thousands of pieces at a time and want people to be completely immersed. Hopefully they get a feel for the way the paintings are hung, because this is a big part of the performance of presenting a gallery show.”

A trained screenprinter by trade, the hand painted multiples represent his version of poster art, which has endeared him to the Flatstock community as an honorary member for the past 35 years. Having produced by his count over 300,000 of these beautiful mini-masterpieces, including nearly 80 per day for the last 35 years, Keene is the all-time most productive artist of this medium.

The three-dimensional modular furniture, fashioned out of Tattooed Plywood, is designed to enhance the experiential aspect of show. Gallery goers are encouraged to participate with the art, to sit and absorb into the environment.

“After two exhibits at The Santa Monica Museum of Art (2008 and 2011), its super exciting and appropriate to show the Los Angeles premiere of Modular Synthesis at Subliminal Projects,” says show curator Daniel Efram.

Keene has shown in galleries in Germany, Australia and in several other U.S. cities. Modular Synthesis at Subliminal Projects marks his gallery premiere in Los Angeles.

The opening reception for Modular Synthesis is Saturday, January 16 from 8 to 11 pm. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, February 13. An RSVP is required for the opening reception to:

About the Artist:

Steve Keene is a Brooklyn-based multi-media artist who has uniquely showcased his work internationally and locally. 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.

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.

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 is a multifunctional gallery space promoting diverse forms of art while providing a forum for contemporary dialogue. It was established by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin in 1995 and played an integral part in introducing skateboarding culture and design to the art world. Now located in the historic neighborhood of Echo Park, SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS continues to offer a platform for artistic exploration and innovation. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm.


Subliminal Projects
1331 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

For more information: Daniel Efram, Curator
Tractor Beam, dan {at} tractor –


Steve Keene’s Brooklyn Experience Continues This Week; Interview With #YourOwnVoice Now Live!; Pics From Steve Keene Day In Brooklyn, USA

Borough President Eric Adams, Artist Steve Keene

Steve Keene’s Brooklyn, his featured exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library has only 2 weekends left in order to catch him painting LIVE at the plaza. SK will be working July 10, 11 & 12 and July 17, 18 & 19; hours are 11am – 4pm with the art sales to be held toward the end of the day.

Recently, Steve Keene appears on #YourOwnVoice, a monthly, non-narrated mixtape produced and edited by radio producer and science journalist Joel Werner.

Here are some pics from opening weekend.

Tagged photos courtesy Gregg Richards and Dan Efram.

June 14th, 2014 Has Been Officially Proclaimed Steve Keene Day by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

June 14th, 2014 Has Been Officially Proclaimed Steve Keene Day by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Blick / Utrecht Art Supplies Sponsors Steve Keene as Artist-in-Residence / NYC Debut at Brooklyn Public Library

Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Glam Saboteurs Evil Arrows To Perform At Grand Opening/Affordable Art Fair Celebration on June 14th

Borough President Eric Adams has proclaimed June 14th, 2014 “Steve Keene’s Experience Day” throughout Brooklyn, NY, to celebrate Keene’s debut NYC Show at the Brooklyn Public Library. Brooklynites will be treated to a Keene performance experience as he paints in the round, outdoors on the Library’s Grand Plaza.

Keene is a prolific artist, with more than 250,000 pieces in public and private collections. He is well known among independent music fans for creating original album artwork, video sets, stage sets and promotional posters for musical artists such as Silver Jews, Pavement, The Apples in stereo, Soul Coughing, Merzbow and The Dave Matthews Band.

From June 14th to August 29th, an exhibition entitled Steve Keene’s Brooklyn Experiencewill feature works in Central Library’s Grand Lobby that pay homage to Brooklyn and to BPL, rendered in Keene’s Wood Sculpture and Tattooed Plywood. To create these works, Keene draws and models in 3D software that then generates files that are cut by aComputer Numerical Control router into plywood sheets. The output becomes the building blocks for the Wood Sculptures and the engraved drawings that are Tattooed Plywood.

Blick Art Materials / Utrecht Art Supplies have sponsored the event, providing Keene with all paints he will need for his three month residency at Brooklyn Public Library as well as discounts and raffles for prizes to celebrate the opening weekend, which will take place at the Central Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza on Saturday, June 14th at 1pm.

Blick Art Materials / Utrecht’s store in Brooklyn will feature a demonstration by Keene on June 18th. The Utrecht Store is located at 536 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205.

Evil Arrows, a new Brooklyn-based indie group formed by Bryan Scary (formerly of his Shredding Tears) bring their dynamic, cranked-up, glam inspired songs to the Plaza for the festivities that day at 1pm. Preview Evil Arrows’ two EPs featuring “Last Living Doll” HERE.

“I’m excited about working with Brooklyn Public Library,” stated Keene. “A library is like a train station for the mind. It is the point from which you can travel anywhere, everywhere. There is something so energizing about both the familiar and the unknown all at your fingertips waiting for new connections to be made. I try to include this sense of unlimited possibility in my work.”

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Related Links
Steve Keene Official Website: – Twitter:  @keene_steve
Video Interview (For Embedding):
Curator Dan Efram, Tractor Beam:  @tractorbeamnyc
Evil Arrows:  @evilarrows

For More Information on Steve Keene Please Contact:
Pam Nashel Leto @ Girlie Action (212) 989-2222 x 111
Kelly Kettering @ Girlie Action (212) 989-2222 x 123

Brooklyn Public Library Names Steve Keene as Artist-In-Residence for NYC Debut

Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2014

Brooklyn Public Library Names Steve Keene as Artist-in-Residence for NYC Debut

Residency Features Premiere of New Work, A Summer Exhibition June 12-August 29 and Weekly On-Site Painting Performances On Grand Army Plaza

Related Events Include a Painting Demo by the Artist, Affordable Art Fair June 14 
and Four Art Workshops for Children throughout the Summer
Continue reading “Brooklyn Public Library Names Steve Keene as Artist-In-Residence for NYC Debut”

Gravitation Generator: Steve Keene “The Most Productive Artist of All Time”

Steve Keene at his studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Steve Keene-Profile12503 web“There needs to be a Johnny Appleseed of art, and there is and it’s Steve Keene.” – The Apples in stereo’s Robert Schneider*

Steve Keene may be the most productive artist of all time. The Williamsburg, Brooklyn based artist, with over 250,000 (two-hundred fifty thousand) pieces created to date, is perhaps the most mission-driven ever. Unproductive simply isn’t allowed into his world – it’s impractical. Continue reading “Gravitation Generator: Steve Keene “The Most Productive Artist of All Time””