Jan Peters, a German touring America, finds a small painting in a helicopter scrap-yard in the Arizonian desert, and it arouses his curiosity. This is the beginning of a long journey through the United States, which finally takes him to Brooklyn and into the studio of the artist Steve Keene. Steve Keene produces pictures as if he were working on the assembly line and sells them around the world for next to nothing. For example, when he was a guest in Cologne at the Museum Ludwig in 1999, he painted almost 9,000 pictures in three months and sold them for about 5 to 7 German marks each. The filmmakers on the artist, who has had many individual exhibitions devoted to his work: Steve Keenes cultural background is the milieu of independent rock musicians. From there he developed the idea of placing graphic art in a context comparable to popular music: to disseminate his pictures like records. It is clear that his work doesnt merely draw on this milieu, but rather, on the other hand, it finds its way into the works and worlds of other, even internationally well-known artists. The hand-crafted mass production, the distribution methods of his pictures and the possibility of buying original works cheaply have all contributed to making Steve Keenes art into a major, long-term experiment on the terrain of all of American society. This project can serve to describe in a playful and yet precise way the phenomenon of popular culture and its spread throughout society.
by Thomas Schlottmann, Andreas Geiger