Original paintings on plywood
Dimensions: 9 x 11.5"
Since the incorporation of the Esopus Foundation Ltd. in 2003, we have asked contemporary artists to create limited editions that we offer in exchange for donations. Revenue from these artworks allows us to continue our mission of providing an unmediated, accessible forum for artists and the general public.
These limited editions are not for sale; therefore, a portion of their value is tax-deductible per the Internal Revenue Code. Donors will receive an email receipt for their records.
For Esopus’s Fall 2017 limited edition, every Premium subscriber received a one-of-a-kind artwork: an original painting by the celebrated Brooklyn-based artist Steve Keene.
Keene's paintings incorporated a variety of subject matter, including the Esopus Creek in upstate New York, historical artworks, still lifes, and portraits. Eeach unique artwork shared the dimensions of an issue of Esopus (9 x 11.5").
Dubbed alternatively a “conceptual folk artist,” ”the Grandma Moses of Brooklyn,” or “an assembly-line Picasso” (by Time), Steve Keene has sold or given away approximately 300,000 artworks, making him quite possibly the most prolific artist in history. While he may be best known for the iconic album covers he has created for alternative rock acts such as Pavement, Silver Jews, The Apples in Stereo, Soul Coughing, and The Klezmatics, his work—which he thinks of as an “endless painting with no boundaries”—can also be found in a number of private and public collections. Keene creates hand-painted multiples in his Greenpoint studio inside ”the cage“—a large rectangle of tornado fencing he covers with pieces of plywood. His process is intense and meditative—part performance art, part endurance contest, moving down each row and adding one paint color to each plywood canvas until he reaches the end. He then returns to the beginning, continuing to paint with various colors until the artworks are completed.
Steve Keene earned his M.F.A. from Yale University and works in several media, including hand-painted multiples, wood sculpture, and tattooed plywood. His artworks have been exhibited in numerous venues, including Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles; the Goethe Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the Tanks, Cairns, Australia; the Moore College of Art, Philadelphia; and the Viewing Room at Marlborough Contemporary, Chelsea, New York. In the summer of 2014, Keene was Artist-in-Residence for the Brooklyn Public Library. He gained recognition for his first official New York City show by performing a live painting exhibition on the Central Library Plaza three days per week for over three months. Keene has been covered by National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Spin, and Filter, among many other media outlets. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams named June 14, 2014, "Steve Keene Day" throughout the City of Brooklyn, where Keene lives and works. As of 2021, Keene estimates he has sold or given away more than 300,000 paintings.