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Episode 41
Author Daniel Efram

  • 2 min read

Episode Description

A discussion with author and photographer Daniel Efram about his latest project “The Steve Keene Art Book”. The work documents the lifestyle, motivation and paintings of Steve Keene, one of the world’s most prolific artists who has sold or given away more than 300,000 paintings in his career. Guest essays by the likes of Shepard Fairey and Ryan McGinness are interspersed with photos by Efram that document Keene’s process.

Transcript

Craig: [00:00:10] This is Art Sense, a podcast focused on educating and informing listeners about the past, present and future of art. I'm Craig Gould. On today's episode, I speak with author and photographer Dan Efram about his latest project, "The Steve Keene Art Book". The work Documents, the lifestyle, motivation and paintings of Steve Keene, one of the world's most prolific artists who has sold or given away more than 300,000 paintings in his career. Guest essays by the likes of Shepard Fairey and Ryan McGinness are interspersed with photos by Efram that document Keene's process. And now, painting a portrait of the prolific Steve Keene with author Dan Efram.

Craig: [00:01:03] Dan Efram, thank you very much for joining us this week on the Arts podcast to talk about your new book project "The Steve Keene Art Book". Maybe a good place to start is how would you describe Steve Keene's artwork?

Daniel: [00:01:21] Well, it's hard to describe Steve's artwork without explaining, giving some context that he is perhaps the most prolific American artist of all time. And so his artwork is a reflection in some ways about his production style as much as the work itself. He is a trained artist, but if you look at his work, you might see it as in more of an outsider feel to it for various reasons. But he creates pieces in mass. And so he creates these pieces that are eclectic, that are sometimes portraits or usually sometimes emulations of photos and pictures that he's either referencing directly or, of course, are in his mind. But he paints within a cage, a chain link fence, eight-foot high, six walls, if you will, because there's an inner section as well, cage that acts as an easel where he's able to place between 40 and 60 pieces of wood, three-eighths inch plywood, which acts as his canvas, if you will, around the edges of this fence, this cage. And so he paints 40, 60 pieces at a time. And of those 40, 60 pieces, there's usually 15 different theories. So it's hard to it's hard. What does he do? Does he do portraits? Yes. For example, in the book, there's a bunch of pieces about presidents. He does a series of presidents. Okay. So those are portraits. But they're illustrations. They're usually again, they're on three-eighths inch plywood. They're usually acrylic. And it's somewhat... is it realistic? Not really. It's not cartoonish either. But it has a flavor to it. I don't know if this really answers your question, but trying to get there. There's a number of different styles that he has that you can talk about.
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Craig: [00:03:48] How did this project come together? How did you first meet Steve Keene?

Daniel: [00:03:53] I first met Steve Keene. His work through my love of indie rock music in the nineties. I basically ran into him and his work at almost every rock roll show, rock show that I went to. He was selling affordable art at merch table in New York City.

Craig: [00:04:14] I guess that's a great segue into the relationship between Steve Keene's artwork and music, right?

Daniel: [00:04:23] Yeah,

Craig: [00:04:24] A lot of his work is inspired by music. A lot of his works inspired by album covers and it seems like it's even gotten a little meta in that bands started reaching out to him for artwork for their albums, right?

Daniel: [00:04:38] Yeah, he's from Charlottesville. And so he started there and he really developed this idea of, I mean, just starting from the beginning I guess really where we should with him and give some background. Start in Charlottesville he went to school again for art all this he did all this work and then he realized like it's really difficult to make to make living as an artist. How are you going to do that? What's the best way to do that? He was just you know, from my long conversations with him, he was interested in just painting, as, you know. Why wouldn't it be if you're an artist and you try to figure out a way where he could create a niche for himself, where he could paint as much as his heart desired and be able to somehow make a living at it. And he was a dishwasher for a while and he was making, in essence, minimum wage or not much more than that. And he wasn't happy doing that, but he was happy painting. And his his ethos is very simple, one in some ways, and very complicated in terms of how he actually delivers the work and thinks of the work. But his idea was, how do I, in essence, make enough to live and still be able to paint? Simple, right? How do we do this? And his way was to, in essence, create masterpieces, paintings in mass, affordably priced so that you...really they're so cheap that you literally can't say no when you see them and you have to buy them.

Daniel: [00:06:17] And again. And so, in essence, in volume. He would create his niche. And 30 years later, he's painted over 300,000 pieces by hand. Hard to believe, but if you add it up, it actually works out. He does about 50 pieces a session. 200 a week. 30 years. You can do the math if you want. It's more than 300,000. So it's a very interesting idea, this concept of how to be an artist in this world. And, of course, his world started in the nineties. He didn't want to stay within the gallery confines. He's fine with galleries, it seems, but it wasn't really his thing. So in a way, he doesn't really fit into that world. Occasionally he'll get a show at a gallery and that works out, but they have to treat it in a usually a different way in order to sell affordable art like this. Like he does.

Craig: [00:07:21] So how did the book as a project come together?

Daniel: [00:07:26] The book came together as I was curating a couple of shows for him just as a friend. I've been working with him on and off, just known him to hired him, commissioned him to do paintings for some of my musical artists that I represented as a manager. I represented a band called the Apple Area and some other bands as well, and the cosmetics and other bands that had commissioned him for artwork, for the record covers. And so I have known him for a few years. At one point or another I just saw they hadn't had a New York show in a while, and I thought, Oh, well, maybe I could pitch one for him. I did. And we did a show at the Brooklyn Public Library, which was really a fantastic show and was 2014. And then I asked for some of his favorite artists, contemporary artists, and one of them he mentioned with Shepard Fairey. As it would turn out in 2015, I was in Los Angeles and I had meant to get in touch with Shepard about doing a show. And this is a funny story, I think, or a good story. I think it reflects well on Shepard. Actually, I had done some work with Shepard previously, but didn't know him enough to have a direct email or anything like that. At the end of my business trip, I literally I forgot to get in touch with Shepard Fairey about what am I doing? So I didn't have an email.

Daniel: [00:09:00] I went to the...Shepard has a gallery in Los Angeles called Subliminal Projects and I just went to the website and emailed info@subliminalprojects. I mean, I just put "Steve Keene" in the subject and "are you fans of Steve Keene" was what I wrote? That was it. And I didn't expect anything. I thought I had actually missed my opportunity to literally traveling home the next day, you know my flight was booked.

Craig: [00:09:28] Sure.

Daniel: [00:09:28] And I thought, well, at least, you know, I should at least try and reach out. And lo and behold, Shepard himself responded to that email within I think it was within 30 minutes.

Craig: [00:09:43] Wow.

Daniel: [00:09:43] That's what I remember. It might have been a little longer, might have been a little bit less even, but that's approximately right. And I was just blown away by that. He said, "Yeah, I'm a big fan." I don't remember exactly what he said, but it ended up that he said, "Come by the office tomorrow and we'll we'll talk about this." I basically said...I think he said, "What can I do to help?" That's what I think he said and I said, "well, would you want to do a show?" Literally in the email, the first email back to him.

Craig: [00:10:15] Right.

Daniel: [00:10:15] And and he said, come in and talk tomorrow. Let's talk about it. And I changed my flight. I remember and went in to the office and we met for a couple of hours and immediately he gave me an opportunity to have dates to talk to Steve about, and I was just blown away. I mean, literally, this book happened because really because Shepard jumped in and said, "you know what, I'm going to put my my flag in the ground and say, I'm a huge fan. This guy deserves to be seen, be recognized." And when we went through the process of doing the show, I was taking photos of Steve's work. He doesn't archive his work. There's no real archive going on.

Craig: [00:11:04] Wow.

Daniel: [00:11:04] I was taking photos for the gallery because they want one for their catalog. Of course, if they're going to sell it extensively, they have a catalog. You know, I don't think they realize maybe did you know Steve so really work in mass but I had a you know there...we delivered 800 pieces to the gallery you know, 800 pieces were in that gallery show. Every inch of supplemental project from floor to ceiling is covered in Steve Keene. So I was the curator and arranged all this, supposedly, that's what you call it.

Daniel: [00:11:41] And and so I was responsible for providing all the information. One of the things was taking photos, so I had to take photos of them all. And I thought...when I got...when we finally did the show, I was so busy I didn't really think about it. But as the show launched, I finally thought like, "wow, you know, there's a line out the door. People can't get in and sold 600 or 550 pieces the first night."

Craig: [00:12:07] Wow.

Daniel: [00:12:08] I mean, it was just insane. And I just thought, "wow, you know, this would probably make an interesting book someday. Once I get over this, I could sleep for two weeks, like, make a good book." And that's where the project really started. Like, "Wow, Shepherd got behind this. There's a line at the door. He sold a lot of pieces anyway. And we have a fan base. Shouldn't you have a book?"

Craig: [00:12:41] Right.

Daniel: [00:12:42] And I've just been inspired by Steve for so many years. I just thought, wow. Who else is going to do this? This is it. This was this was the moment. And I captured it with some of it.

Craig: [00:12:55] And so in the book, you know, you have essays written by guests, including Shepherd, including Ryan McGinnis, who's another weighty name. And Ryan's contribution, was really interesting because it's kind of an interview format. He's trying to help us peel back the onion in terms of what's going on in Steve's mind. And I think that interview kind of demonstrates that Steve is more than just a naive outsider, that he has put a lot of thought into what his practice and career is. Right?

Daniel: [00:13:29] Well, Ryan has a long history with Steve as well as you might have read. And and I think that piece that he did is just spectacular. I mean, Ryan, I've known for probably actually. yeah, almost exactly as long as Steve we worked on a project together, I actually was at least partially responsible for introducing Ryan to Steve. And anyway, if you know Ryan, you know he's a process hound. Like he just just feeds off of like, How did you do this? It's so inquisitive."

Craig: [00:14:06] Right.

Daniel: [00:14:07] And one of the one of the things I love about Ryan and his work and just how he presents everything. And I've been very lucky to work with him on a number of things, a number of projects. So having him write this was really amazing. I didn't think he was going to be able to do it at first. But as sort of fortunately, unfortunately, one of the happy occurrences of the book, taking six and a half years to produce was that there was finally a window where where Ryan could actually write something and it fit into the book on time.

Craig: [00:14:50] Right.

Daniel: [00:14:51] It's one of the happy, happy accidents of taking so long to make. But I just love the idea of...I mean, as an artist myself, an appreciator of art, loving process myself, but not having the real knowledge that Ryan brings to it. It just seemed like, Wow, he's coming at this from what he's interested in. And I thought that added just such a, again, a very intriguing element to the book.

Daniel: [00:15:24] Like, what is it that this process hound is interested in? Because Steve is all process, not all...I mean, not all process, but there's such a process involved with this can...that Ryan was able to dig beneath the veneer of how he works was just fascinating and it's a long piece that he does. And at first I thought, wow, you know, should we include all this? But after I read it for the second time, I think I was like, wow, this book is called "The Steve Keene Book" because I don't know if they'll ever be another. I hope there is. There should be in my opinion, this guy should be celebrated by Americana as a whole for many reasons, for the joy he's brought to the people that have received one of the 300,000 pieces he's made. I mean, that's a huge impression that an artist can make.

Craig: [00:16:21] Sure. 

Daniel: [00:16:22] He should be celebrated. But the book was also made to be like, okay, you want to make a Steve Keene art book? You've got to have something to challenge this because this is going to be it. This is like...I wanted to put everything I could into it, make it as great as possible and as all encompassing as possible. So having this real detailed description of each process with someone who I respect and admire as much as I do, Ryan is just amazing, amazing thing. I just think it brings so much to the book.

Craig: [00:16:56] It sounds like Shepard, part of what he appreciates in Steve's work is the process. And, you know, Shepard's kind of rooted in this screen printing and stenciling history, and he sees a lot of the same thought process going on in Steve's work. Even though Steve is doing all of these things by hand, I mean, he's, you know, Steve's kind of like a one man Warhol factory.

Daniel: [00:17:23] Yeah. Well, it's interesting you say that, because he studied screen printing. So his process, I think he might even admit it in the book. I have to say to myself what his quotes are, but I've heard him talk about this, that in essence, he's been influenced very much by screen printing. And if you look at or think of the idea of creating 50 pieces at once in sets of four, there's the primer coat, and then you build it. You go into more details. From there, it's kind of like screen printing. These are layers of a print, you know how it works. And so he's thinking of this in the same way. And there's...that's certainly one of the reasons why Shepard and I've heard Shepard talk about this, too, where there's an appreciation because obviously Shepard's work as it varies, there is a lot of screen printing involved in it. So yeah, there's there's a lot of that. I think that that's where this...Steve just created this world and there's a lot it's part screen printing, at least in concept. Right? And then there's also kind of a street mentality of it with the quickness that he works with. So there's that. Then there's the fine art aspect where if you look at his actual strokes, I think that you'll see some of that as well. So it's. And then there's the process, which is actually deeper than what you may think of in terms of he's actually cutting all the wood himself.

Daniel: [00:19:00] He's actually...there's hangers for each piece. Right? And he's making a hanger for each piece with a piece of wire. So he's creating everything himself. And as you put it, this Warholian sort of...this Warholian machine idea. This is part of it, too. I mean, I think there's a real influence of pop art on this, as he does, for example, you know, obviously, one of the one of the most important series that Warhol has done for Campbell's Soup Cans.

Craig: [00:19:30] Right.

Daniel: [00:19:30] So Steve has a beer can series that, not series, but a beer cans that he's done over the years. And to me, they're referential. Like there's a pop art component here that can't be denied. So there's a there's a lot of different influences here. And and but in the end, do these pieces do yes or no? I mean, that's up to you. To me, they just speak of joy. To me. They they give me a lot of a lot of pleasure. They're so colorful. They're so vibrant that especially in these days, we could all use a little more joy. And I think that it's really interesting that this book took so long, but it is coming out right now where the world is in such chaos, it seems. But this book, I think, is really, really, really fun and really vibrant and I think shows the career of an artist that has given so much joy to fans with this vibrant artwork.

Craig: [00:20:32] I don't want it to be too weighty of a comparison, but some of the things about Steve's practice does remind me of Van Gogh in terms of the bright, saturated colors. You know, there's a real focus on working as quickly as possible. He's very conscious about economy of strokes, right? Like how to say things in the least amount of information. Let me let me ask you this. There was a quote in your book from Ryan that says, "Steve's one of the most important artists of the 21st century." What would motivate Ryan to say that? What does that stand on?

Daniel: [00:21:08] Well, in my opinion, I always come back to the idea of how art affects life. And if you create art in a vacuum and no one sees it, does it exist? You know, it's a fairly obvious question, I guess, in some ways. Obviously, there are also a lot of artists that we can point to that just made their work for themselves and then may or may not have been discovered after the fact. You know, obviously, some of the more important ones, Darger, you know, was discovered afterwards. As a photographer, Vivian Maier. You know, these people made amazing work. No one saw it until after they were gone, unfortunately. But that wasn't what they wanted. That was probably their choice. Maybe it wasn't, but that's how they operated. The idea is that people should have art and be able to afford it. That's his goal. And he is the reason why I got into collecting small pieces of hand-made art myself. His were the first. At first when I went to a time when I was discovered Steve or found his work at merch tables at rock shows, well, I was buying records and I was buying posters of bands or things, things like that. I didn't realize I could afford, like a hand-painted piece of art. That may just seem absurd. Was I interested in that? I don't know. But because it was presented in this way, the rock and roll way, the do it yourself type of ethic that's somewhat punk rock as well for sure, because it bucks the whole art industry really throws it on its head.

Daniel: [00:23:02] Like, how could you not be into that? From my perspective, how could I not be into that? So when Ryan says he's one of the most important artists of the 21st century, I think that he is referencing the idea of being cavalier, not fitting in to the system, as it were, and building his own world. That is self sufficient now. I mean, now if you try and purchase artwork from Steve Online, it's over a six month wait for his work. He's not charging any more of an ad, and certainly he could, but he's not doing that. And that's because the fabric of Steve's work is ongoing. And his his work is the complete the really the full 350,000 pieces that he's made and how much joy that that has spread throughout the world. I think that's why people are important. Does your work resonate with anyone? Well, some people aren't going to like it and some people are going to love it. So if you're spreading that much out there, that's having a huge impact. I mean, there's no other way around it. If you look at the amount of I mean, it just to me, it's about there's a volume based equation for that discussion. If you don't if you don't appreciate what he does, or how he does it rather, you have to appreciate the volume. And if you appreciate the volume, then you know that people are really into this and a lot of people like that. And I think that's his power.

Craig: [00:24:43] You know, I was just having a conversation with a guest recently about just how insulated the art world has become in terms of we've gone through a couple of decades where it was all about where did you go to school? Who did you learn with whatever MFA program kind of molded you into this or that and how unique thought, expression, reflection of your culture, the artist that's kind of doing his own thing. You may not be getting the gallery representation in his time, but you know that stuff's going to pop off the walls at some point because it's not going to look like everything else that's kind of been turned out by this academic factory system, right?

Daniel: [00:25:27] Yeah. I mean, I mean, I think it's really interesting that it's hard to find your niche and it happens in different ways. You know, that's the thing. And Steve's was really, you know, brass tacks. How can I do this so that I don't have to wash dishes? I mean, that's the foundation of his artwork is how do I do this so I don't have to wash dishes? So. Okay, well, I basically need to sell a lot of pieces. Okay, well, how do I sell a lot of pieces if no one knows who I am? Even if they're inexpensive. You know, so that's one you pick this avenue this lane. And he has stuck with it for 30 years. I mean, that's to me, it's just this is inspiring to me. That's why I'm with you. Steve inspires me and inspires like the good things in me, inspires the joy, inspires this...his colors are vibrant and it gives me life talking about it. So that's why I'm here. So in terms of, like, speaking to whether or not it'll be valuable and I don't know, I think the value, again, like the value is in your eyeballs. You like what you're seeing. It doesn't matter what it costs, you know, like obviously it does for some people. And I'm not suggesting there isn't a value to an art market, but that's not what Steve operates within and that's not really what this is about. This is about a person that's done the same thing that brought a lot of this vibrancy to life.

Craig: [00:27:05] So he's branched out a little bit. Right. You have a section in the book where you look at his tattooed plywood pieces and then there's like the pavement trees. Can you talk about those plywood pieces they use like a CMC router and then there's color added on. Can you help describe those?

Daniel: [00:27:25] Yeah, sure. Like I mentioned before, all of his work that I've seen thus far has been pretty much on word. So he's using wood as a platform, if you will. Some of it is on cloth. When he does big murals, don't do cloth, doesn't do a lot of those, but there are some of those out there. So this these these tattooed plywood pieces are basically he will create the artwork itself in a computer program of some sort. It might be Photoshop, it might be another. And then it goes through a router that in essence engrave in these he's using or by a 4'x 8'piece of wood or some variation, maybe 3' x 6'. But he'll cut different sizes of wood and he'll plant this or get these rooted etchings into the to the wood. And then he'll basically paint over them in various ways, sometimes using black sand to show the lines that have been engraved and sometimes just painting on top as well. And those have become multilayered and multi-dimensional as well. Some of the newer pieces are not represented in the book. It's one of the few things that Steve is not selling aggressively. He is holding them back. I'm not sure why he's holding it back, but he is holding back these more, more layered versions of passive plywood that you see in the book.

Daniel: [00:29:05] These pieces, again, also are accented by usually some verbiage of some sort that may or may not be nonsensical. Right. So there's what I like about Steve is that there's a real playfulness to them, but there's also an introspection. And I think he has a real gift for selling both. And the tattoo plywood pieces are.,,you know, there's a similarity. Using the medium word, of course. But there's, of course, the humor and some of that. But again, it's these are computer, computer generated. So, you know, it's also a takeoff of what he does with his hands. In essence, when he's painting, he's reproducing all these pieces ad nauseum that he goes through each day and paints. And there are reproductions. And there's usually four of a kind and so forth. With obviously the computer generated, you create the file and the computer can rout them mechanically. So he's in essence, like using both sides of the machinations, one as his own. He's a one man art factory,

Craig: [00:30:23] Right. 

Daniel: [00:30:23] Himself. And then sometimes he's doing these other pieces where he's actually using more tools that would be more more contemporary, if you will. Automation. He's gone into automation, right, and using the router. So it's a really interesting thing because it kind of complements what he's doing by his own hand.

Craig: [00:30:44] So does that work sell for the same price as the painted pieces?

Daniel: [00:30:49] No, it doesn't. And he doesn't. And like I said, he's not selling those. So he doesn't let them go. Right now, I've seen stacks and stacks and stacks of these pieces in his studio. I don't know. I assume that at some point he'll have a show of those. But yeah, those pieces are not for sale.

Craig: [00:31:10] That's really interesting.

Daniel: [00:31:11] So like he sold I think he sold a few at the Shepard Fairey show, but that was like the introduction of those pieces. He had never shown those pieces before. And I think that since then, he just has decided that he wants to hold back on showing and or selling this. And here's a guy who I don't know exactly, exactly why, but he's also by the way, though this may seem strange, he's also very into Nfts. So I've read this recently and they're out of conversations, but he's really into NFTs. I haven't figured out exactly why, but there's something about it. The computer generated aspect that really feeds off of.

Craig: [00:31:55] Has he minted anything yet or is he just collecting and thinking and plotting how he's going to enter that market?

Daniel: [00:32:05] I think he's plotting. I think he's fascinated. I just think he's fascinated by it. Know, he's an inquisitive guy. And I just think there's something about it that makes him kind of giddy. And I'm not sure what it is yet.

Craig: [00:32:22] Well, at times you've referenced your work, what does your art look like?

Daniel: [00:32:28] Well, I'm a photographer. And, you know, for this book, my work looks like documenting Steve's process. So I feel fortunate that he allows me into the studio so often to to bother him. And I take some photos of him in action and get like...some I think some really deep moments from him, like contemplating his next steps. I think it's really interesting to me, he's the reason why I made the book. He's fascinating to me. If that's not already clear. But when you're making so many pieces at one time, it's like 4D chess. Going from one piece to the next, trying to figure out what the highlight is on one piece versus another. That might be wholly different series that he's working on at one time. So he's working on 15 different series at a time. And it's just incredible to me. What I try to capture in this particular book is capture as much of the sort of contemplation of what's his next step? What does his next stroke going to be? What's the next color? And there's a couple of photos in there that I think really represent that well. My work is both documentary in this sense. I love capturing the work of artists in process it just...me, I've always been interested in trying to capture the thought visually, if you will, that moment, the moments where the in-between moment where like the artist is thinking about what is the next step. That, to me, is really whatever that reason is, that particular moment is really fascinating to me and to capture it properly is difficult. So that's one of the things that my work is based on.

Daniel: [00:34:32] But I've done a book called I did a book called "Curiosities", which was my primary focus is street photography. And the book is I consider a noir street photography, so it's fully black and white. It was released in 2019. It's based on trying to (paraphrasing for some other much more famous artists, photographers) I'm trying to steal a moment with the lens. And to me, it was about capturing energy from my subjects. And most of them didn't know that they were my subjects. Street photography is candid, it's verité. So it's about sort of walking into a moment or noticing something and trying to capture it. And in this particular case, the emphasis of the work of curiosity was to steal some energy. I was feeling very low. It was a low point in my life and I was trying to find some inspiration. And the inspiration I found wasn't from me, it was from other people and from the other, from the scenes that I found that I was involved with, that I was able to capture however we can put it. I was able to kind of dig myself out of this big hole. And so this was a big deal to me in that regard. It got me out of that hole and it got me inspired to pursue photography even more aggressively. So I do a lot of street photography. So it's noir, I do a lot of documentary work, a lot of art process documenting, and I do a fair amount of activism work as well, where I'm capturing the scenes of different social movements in New York and other places.

Craig: [00:36:38] So the book, is it available now or is the publish date on the near horizon?

Daniel: [00:36:45] "The Steve Keene Art Book" is available for preorder right now. It's coming officially out in June. But if you order from the Hat & Beard Press website (https://hatandbeard.com/products/the-steve-keene-art-book), in essence, you'll get the book first come should be shipping in late April. So it is available through the Hat & Beard site right now.

Craig: [00:37:09] Okay. Do you have a website where if people were interested in your noir photography and other projects?

Daniel: [00:37:18] Yeah, you can look at my work at danielefram.com. And there's a link to the book there as well. So I'm sure you'll see it.

Craig: [00:37:33] In you know, for those folks that are listening amazingly, you know, we have sat here and talk for 45 minutes about an artist whose website you can go to and order six paintings for $70. Right. So if you if you go to Steve CNN.com, we can we can go buy our own artwork. How often do you buy Steve Kean artwork?

Daniel: [00:37:55] Well, let me let me say that Steve is six months behind on orders. So if you're expecting a quick turnaround on your order, you're going to be disappointed. But I guarantee you, if you do wait, you will be very, very happy with what you choose.

Craig: [00:38:12] We can order now for Christmas.

Daniel: [00:38:14] Yeah, that's true. Six pieces for $70, including shipping. You don't know what you're getting. Don't get to choose anything. He chooses. It's a big part of the process is that you don't get to choose. He determines what the package is. But that's part of this whole thing is buying into the idea that you're buying them sight unseen. It's fascinating. This whole thing is fascinating to me. And you're right. You could in essence, you could have it for the holidays, to shop, for gifts, for your friends, which is one of the reasons why there's so much out there. I, I would get packages occasionally. I've worked with them so often that I end up having a lot of people have a lot of pieces, hundreds of pieces at this point. And, you know, but you don't feel bad about giving them to a friend either. If you have so many give them as a present, it's never inappropriate.

Craig: [00:39:10] Right

Daniel: [00:39:10] It's always unique. You know, Ryan, I think in the book, I think he describes that he's given away all pieces he's ever had of these or in this type of way. He'll go to a friend's cocktail party or something and bring a gift to the scene. And then what I brought when I went, photographed him with Steve at the studio, I know that he bought a bunch of pieces from Steve, and I know he'll pass them around to his friends. And then you'll run out and you'll have to give more. And so this is like...it's a beautiful thing spreading this cheer. And I don't know how, how, how often I've gotten packages. I mean, I've gotten so many packages from him over the years that it's hard to put that in perspective, as I'm literally sitting among hundreds of pieces right now. So it's hard to put it in perspective for you, but I hope that helps.

Craig: [00:40:08] Well, Dan, I, I really appreciate your time today. I think it's awesome that you kind of identified someone who has a unique voice and vision and have gone out there and documented this and pulled the pieces together. You know, I was able to see a digital copy of the book and it's beautiful. I mean, you know, your photography, Steve's work, the thoughtful commentary from from Shepard and like we discussed the interview with with Ryan, I hope that a lot of people find this and that it kind of blooms and blossoms for you because it's a great looking piece of work.

Daniel: [00:40:50] Oh, thank you so much. You know, again, it's all due to Steve inspiring me. And, you know, I'd like to be an advocate for artists. And that's what I've done most, most of my career. And I can't think of a more worthy project than this one. He deserves it. So any accolades that come for that, we do that. Thanks for having me on. I really do.

Craig: [00:41:21] My pleasure.

Craig: [00:41:27] That's all the time we have for this week. You've been listening to Art Sense. You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Radio, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. If you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe. And while you're there, please rate the show and leave a quick review. Your feedback is the key to other folks finding us. And if you'd like to see images related to the conversation, read the transcript and find other bonus features. You can go to Canvia art and click on the podcast tab. If you'd like to reach out to me. You can email me at craig@canvia.art. Thanks for listening.

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