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Primitive, Pop, Classical: The Art and Action of Steve Keene

By Pat McGuire; all images by Steve Keene on December 30, 2013


Primitive, Pop, Classical: The Art and Action of Steve Keene

The Brooklyn-based American artist Steve Keene has been making his distinct brand of assembly-line style paintings, digital collages, woodcuts, hand-crafted furniture sculptures and more since the early ’90s. His work has always had one foot firmly planted in the indie-rock world, and has graced projects by everyone from Pavement, the Silver Jews and The Apples in Stereo to Soul Coughing, Josh Rouse, Dave Matthews Band and Jim O’Rourke. To quote The Apples in Stereo’s Robert Schneider: “To see him work, that’s the art. His act of painting [is] his real art form, not the painting itself. It’s his action, not the art. His concept is to make as much art as he can, that art should be something you can just go to a show and get, and that young kids in their cramped apartments should be able to have real art by real artists on their wall.” In other words: Steve Keene is the Great American Indie-Rock Artist, or, as Schneider calls him, “the Johnny Appleseed of art.” Here, Keene’s collaborators, colleagues and friends weigh-in on their experiences with the artist.

To read (and see) the full story, with commentary from the aforementioned musicians, head to the FILTER magazine Tumblr.

This article is from FILTER Issue 54