In the ’90s you could not avoid Steve Keene paintings. Everyone seemed to have a Keene. In New York, they decorated tiny apartment walls, clubs, record stores and dive bars including Brownies, CBGB’s Gallery, the Knitting Factory, Kim’s Underground, and Other Music, The New York music scene of the 1990s embraced the do-it-yourself aesthetic and Keene was the unofficial king of that. His democratic approach to making and selling artwork allowed young people to buy original artwork for the first time.
Photographer Daniel Efram has put together the definitive book on Keene and his work, and talks to us about Keene’s paintings of famous covers, and covers of albums he likes, as well as covers that have no particular meaning to him other than being an artistic challenge. “I’m making kind of a history of albums,” Keene says. “They’re monuments to something that doesn’t exist anymore.” Tune in.
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