Steve Keene Demostrates His High-speed Painting at Ramapo Art Show

Artistry was brought to Ramapo in the form of an art exhibition as well as a painting performance by artist Stephen Keene. A dash of culture was injected into the exhibition with influences from Haitian and Asian art.

Stephen Keene is a speed demon of an artist and channels his talent with almost instantaneous high-speed works of art. His work has been given a merit of prestige by being recognized in "TIME Magazine" as well as traveling the country to display his mastery with the brush.

Keene is a showman to say the least because he can exquisitely depict images at such a rate that leaves onlookers in awe. He is no stranger to this type of work, and his experience with canvas shows. His show is incredibly entertaining for art critics as well as casual art viewers to witness.

"It's not intimidating at all, he's moving around and the public loves it," said curator Sydney O. Jenkins. "You hear about performance art that's boring and weird and deliberately hard to sit through. He's like gratification when you come in and see."

"The Steve Keene" show is a part of "The C of O Show," which was put together by the director of the art galleries, Sydney O. Jenkins, and art galleries documentation
assistant, Hannah Craft. The gallery includes Asian and Haitian art that Jenkins explains was inspired by Chinese villages.

"I was trying to think of what we could do to try and make it more exciting for Ramapo students and others and a lightbulb went off," Jenkins said. "I was reading a 'New Yorker' article about how in villages in China it's very different from here and that's not a bad thing for everybody to make the same type of image or copy-it's actually a good thing."
Jenkins focused the gallery around the idea of individuality in art, which explains the origins of the title.

"So, I started thinking about the title 'C of O' has to do with the cult of originality, playing off of the interesting phenomenon that many of our superstar artists today may not even make their own art," Jenkins explained.

One famous piece on display in the gallery is Yoko Ono's "Hammer a Nail." Yoko Ono is a conceptual artist and the story behind her piece is that it starts out blank, and as people walk through the show they hammer nails into it.

Students were able to see artwork like "Hammer a Nail" and Steve Keene's paintings on display in the Kresge Gallery right here on campus as a part of the "The C of O Show." The fusion of these pieces with the Haitian and Asian influences allowed for an enriching artistic experience for the students of Ramapo.

– Additional reporting by Danielle Reed