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First Art Book Documenting the Most Prolific American Painter of All Time Arrives June 14 via Hat & Beard + Tractor Beam

“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

"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

Earlier this month at his first art show since 2019, Steve Keene — one of America’s most collected, beloved, and affordable artists — sold over 500 original artworks. Now, an excerpt from The Steve Keene Art Book is available via the legendary “indie nerd bible” chickfactor, whose editor-in-chief, Gail O’Hara, edited the book. The featured piece is 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. The first ever published collection of his art, the #SKartBook is out June 14 via Hat & Beard and Tractor Beam following a successful Kickstarter campaign with over 600 backers, as profiled in Forbes. Nearly the same size as the LPs that Keene worships, The Steve Keene Art Book is a love letter to the most prolific American artist of all time from his adoring public.

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

More about Sam Brumbaugh:

Sam Brumbaugh is a D.C.-based novelist (Goodbye, Goodness) who has written for Open City, Chickfactor, The Minus Times and Vice. He co-produced the documentary Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt. He is a music producer and programmer who booked shows in NYC in the ’90s, and has worked for the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pre-Order Available Now

For more about Steve or to see some of his work, click on this documentary playlist:

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Celebrating publication of the epic The Steve Keene Art Book

– the first monograph/collection of the NYC icon’s work

Public Access 105 Henry Street, NYC 10002

Hours: Thurs/Fri 2-6 pm Sat/Sun 12-6 pm

One of the most collected/beloved/affordable American artists in the world, STEVE KEENE’s new “SK Art Show'' opens at Leo Fitzpatrick’s Public Access gallery from April 7 - 10, and the four-day exhibit is KEENE’s first in-person show since 2019. KEENE’s gallery shows are renowned for their astonishingly affordable paintings which give anyone a chance to own a piece of original art, or start their own collection. A limited number of advance copies of The Steve Keene Art Book (the first monograph of his work, due out June 14th from Hat & Beard Press) will be available for the first time to the public.

Be advised, this is no traditional art gallery show.

Art fans will get the full STEVE KEENE experience as the ‘one-man art factory’ packs Public Access with dozens, if not hundreds of LP-sized works, all for sale via his custom-made donation box: Hundreds of paintings. For sale. Cheap.

KEENE’s distinctive ‘wall of art’ presentation style is no accident. “I consider myself an installation artist,” he confides. “If people see anything less than a huge wall of my paintings at one time, I don’t think they get it.”

KEENE is beloved for his deep ties to the 90s indie rock scene, where he started out selling his album cover homages at merch tables all over NYC, ultimately becoming known as much for his cheery, automated style as for his everyman prices of just $5 - 10 per painting. After a 30+ year career producing over 300,000 paintings, STEVE KEENE is a world-famous pop culture icon and this June heralds the arrival of the spectacular The Steve Keene Art Book.

While KEENE operates outside of the traditional art world, his work has been featured at some of the most prestigious galleries, museums and fairs including Frieze New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art (LA) and Marlborough Gallery (NY). The Steve Keene Art Book was produced by Daniel Efram and features essays by artists Shepard Fairey and Ryan McGinness.

Book details: $95 // Hardcover // 264 pages

Published by Hat & Beard Press and Tractor Beam

Pre-Order Date: March 15 / Official Pub Date: June 14


Link to article: "To gather material that went into the final book, Efram had to seek out Keene’s artwork, using Instagram, where over 300 people uploaded their pieces with the hashtag #SKartBook for possible inclusion."

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