The Steve Keene Art Book
“This guy must be the most prolific artist of all time.” - artist Shepard Fairey
“[Keene is an] assembly line Picasso” - TIME
“By some measures, Mr. Keene [...] is one of the most successful artists in the world.” - New York Times
“Whether they realize it or not, most rock fans of the past 20-odd years,
especially indie rock fans, already know the work of artist Steve Keene.” - Variety
“A ’90s icon of contemporary art in his own right,
Keene’s work remains revered well into the 21st century.” - Consequence
"Warhol claimed he wanted to be a machine, but Keene IS a machine." - artist Ryan McGinness
“...slapdash yet distinctive. The brushstrokes thick, the figures he replicates en masse are
compelling and relatable.” - Brooklyn Magazine
On the heels of Steve Keene’s first art show since 2019, the artist will be making his return to Los Angeles for the first time since 2016’s “Modular Synthesis” month-long stay at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects gallery. The 2016 show, where Keene — one of America’s most collected, beloved, and affordable artists — sold 550 pieces on opening night and saw lines stretch out the door and around the corner in Echo Park, was the book’s producer, Daniel Efram’s, inspiration to craft The Steve Keene Art Book.
From July 28 - August 12, Keene will have a multi-room exhibit including artworks from various collections and new works from the artist as well. Participating in the sending of their Steve Keene collections will be The Steve Keene Art Book’s Producer-Auteur Daniel Efram and The Apples in stereo’s Robert Schneider and Eric Allen. Plus, in much the same way that the book was curated, LA locals will be invited to post their Steve Keene collections on Instagram with the tag #SKartBook #SKartShow in order to be considered for having their pieces included in the show. The #SKartShowLA will be held at the newly opened Palm Grove Social (1902 S. Palm Grove Ave. Los Angeles, 90016) and is being curated by Hat & Beard Press. Listen to a new interview and book reading featuring Efram on Hat & Beard Editorial Director and Publisher J.C. Gabel’s podcast Big Table here.
Last week, Shepard Fairey and Subliminal Projects shared their ‘First Look’ reel of the book, which has since been viewed over 100,000 times across platforms. In May, Billboard Magazine published a new excerpt from the book, following a previous excerpt — an essay written by Sam Brumbaugh, a curator of Threadwaxing Space, one of the numerous music venues where Keene got his foothold in the NYC downtown indie scene in the 90s — debuted via legendary “indie nerd bible” Chickfactor in April.
View ‘First Look’ Video here
About The Steve Keene Art Book:
The first ever published collection of his art, The Steve Keene Art Book (#SKartBook) is out June 14 via Hat & Beard and Tractor Beam following a successful Kickstarter campaign with over 600 backers, as detailed by Forbes, Variety, Billboard, and Consequence. Nearly the same size as the LPs that Keene is so very fond of, The Steve Keene Art Book is more than simply a love letter to a prominent vinyl fan, it makes the case that Keene is a cultural icon and perhaps the most prolific American artist of all time.
For more about Steve or to see some of his work, click on this video documentary playlist: https://bit.ly/3KFzebN
Though perhaps best-known for his deep ties to the 90s indie rock scene — thanks to work with Pavement, The Apples in stereo, The Silver Jews, Bonnie Prince Billy and more — Keene is a legend amongst music and art fans as much for his cheery, automated style, as for his everyman prices of just $5 - $10 each. After a 30+ year career producing over 300,000 paintings, he’s become what many refer to as the “Johnny Appleseed'' of art.
Produced by Daniel Efram over a span of six years, The Steve Keene Art Book was born from efforts to document a 2016 exhibition at legendary artist Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects gallery but expanded to include original works sent in from dozens of Keene collectors and Kickstarter supporters. The book includes long-form essays and insight into Keene’s life, space and process from rock stars like Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Will Oldham, and members of Superchunk, as well as anecdotes and personal stories from artists like Ryan McGinness and Fairey, journalists, collectors, art-world insiders and devoted fans around the world. Alongside a dazzling collection of 277 of Keene’s works, Efram takes readers into Keene’s utilitarian chain-link “painting cage” for an all-access pass into the artist’s fascinating systemic technique.
Specific details of book:
$95 // Hardcover // 264 pages Published by Hat & Beard and Tractor Beam Pre-Order Date: January 25 / Official Pub Date: June 14
Photo Credit Daniel Efram