About the Artist
Steven Kean Surf Artist / Printmaker | North Shore of Oahu, HI
A Pennsylvania native residing on the North Shore of O’ahu since 2008, Steven Kean is an artist working primarily in the woodcut method of relief printmaking. Woodcut is a technique where the artist carves into a block of wood, leaving raised areas to receive ink. The inked block is then printed on paper. His work is a collection of coastal and wave studies utilizing this technique. It is driven by a passion for the process and a love affair with the ocean. ‘I hope to elicit a reaction in those who have felt that symbiotic connection with the ocean, and at the same time provide access to those who maybe have not had that experience.’
Steven's work has been showcased internationally, here in the islands & throughout the U.S. In 2020 he executed two notable commissioned works in his signature style. Most recently, a woodcut print of Diamond Head as seen from an aerial view from southeast side of Oahu for Kahala MKT. by Foodland. The artwork is the main imagery in the market & is implemented in various branding elements. Earlier in the year, he collaborated with Olukai in creating the imagery for the footbed of a premium leather sandal, 'Honoli'i.' Steven was selected as the official artist of the 2017 Vans World Cup of Surfing and in 2016 he was appointed as the featured artist for the Haleiwa Arts Festival. Kean is also a teaching artist at the Hawaii State Art Museum and is continually seeking creative growth as a working professional artist in Hawaii.
‘The process of carving wood evokes emotions that are similar to those experienced when riding a wave. I enter a soothing, therapeutic, almost meditative state when driving a gouge through the block. The sensation of carving a smooth line is similar to the feeling of sliding on the surface of a wave. In each activity, I’m harnessing a certain energy. I seek to challenge myself in conveying this parallel to the viewer through the repetition of crisp line work and elegant mark making. It is an exploration into the dichotomy of stillness versus movement.’