L.A. at Home

Design, Architecture, Gardens,
Southern California Living

« Previous Post | L.A. at Home Home | Next Post »

Steve Keene paint-athon starts Sunday; art is yours for $10 and up

August 4, 2011 |  7:00 am
Steve Keene, the one-man art assembly line, is back. In the 2000 exhibition "The Miracle Half-Mile" at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Keene frantically painted more than 10,000 works during the two-month run of the show.

Stephen keene2 On Sunday, Keene returns to the museum to begin a weeklong residency during which he will paint 30 to 90 multiples of the same subject, at the same time. The painting-as-performance will change daily in subject matter: animals, flowers, L.A. landmarks, outer space imagery, pop culture icons.

Have an idea for a daylong painting marathon? Keene is open to suggestions. Email your idea to info@smmoa.org.

Stephen keene All of the paintings will be on sale starting at $10, with proceeds benefiting the museum.

"I think of it as very disciplined silliness," Keene said from Brooklyn on Wednesday. "For me, it's a performance. It's about being brave and crazy enough to be creative in front of people."

The Times' glowing review from 2000 said that exhibition was "not just a cheeky critique of high-priced art. While it does take the popular accessibility of Warhol's mass-produced images to the next level, it simultaneously reveals the difficulties of making a living as an artist in America.... It lays bare the unglamorous reality of life as a hard-working artist -- on average, a low-paying job that cannot be redeemed by the Protestant work ethic, no matter how devoutly it's applied."

Keene, who said he has sold more than 250,000 paintings in the last 20 years, also will paint new modular furniture that will be used in the museum's planned outdoor space.

"I didn't intend for my career to be like this," Keene said. "But I got such a positive response that I fed off the energy. It's my favorite way to think about art."

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is at Bergamot Station, Building G1, 2525 Michigan Ave. From Friday through Sunday, the museum store will have discounts on Keene-designed furniture as well as animal-themed items from Danger Dogs, Venice Clay and jewelry by designer Krista Everage. (310) 586-6488.

Some Bergamot galleries will offer discounts on artist catalogs, limited-edition prints, gifts, jewelry, specialty paper and floral bouquets. 

Coming Saturday: More coverage of affordable art, including our article on handmade posters.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits, from top: Santa Monica Museum of Art; Los Angeles Times; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Exit Through the Gift Shop RELATED:

Artworks for $20 on 20x200

Victory garden posters

"Art in the Streets" co-curator's house