Chow's colourful paintings often depict cartoon characters and contain uplifting phrases meant to bring joy to the viewer.
Stevie Chow is a self-taught Canadian artist working in acrylic, resin, silkscreen and found objects. Chow's colourful paintings often depict cartoon characters and contain uplifting phrases intended to bring joy to the viewer. Inspired by George Condo, Mr Thief and his former life as a rock & roll musician in LA, Chow still lives and works in Calgary.
For Chow, the overarching theme of his work is to create art that enlivens our most intimate environments in a positive way. Stevie's inspiration comes primarily from his own desire to be surrounded by positive affirmations, to counter the distractions of our noisy world.
2020 has been a breakthrough year for contemporary artist Stevie Chow. He has quickly become a master at generating positive energy through his paintings. His work has gained increasing recognition in the US and the UK over the past year and can be found in public and private collections around the world.
The Canadian artist often considers his works to be somewhere between pop culture, street art & conceptual art. His aim is often to depict the dichotomies between material & spiritual fulfilment. Using familiar elements like money & gold, bright colours & bold lines, and topped with uplifting texts, his style is instantly recognisable by its often polished & sophisticated exterior. Similar to the human experience, the depth of his work continues to grow in complexity the more it is perceived in its layers.
Much of his inspiration came from his childhood exploring the world. He grew up with parents who were passionate about travel and photography, which introduced him to a wide range of cultures at an early age. From trekking with tribes in West Papua to being taken out of school for months to travel across Africa, Stevie had visited more than five continents by the time he was 16.
This led to an early fascination with his desires and obsessions around the benefits of material wealth as opposed to observing first-hand that happiness is not always found through our Western conceptions of success. This curiosity was solidified in adulthood, when Stevie chose to abandon a budding career as an oil & gas engineer for an artistic path. Stepping out of the corporate world, he moved far from his Canadian roots to LA for music and soon gained some traction after starting a duo project with a friend, leading to a "fun but chaotic" time in which they played multiple local shows a week, including gigs at the SoHo house, Nascar, & a small tour in Mexico.
Ultimately, however, this project came to a bittersweet end as the collective vision began to evolve in different directions. After parting ways with the band, Stevie moved back to his hometown of Calgary after almost a decade of absence.
Eager to discover what to do next, he felt confused after the dissolution of his band in LA. He began to dive deep into a time of self-discovery. This eventually led to the revival of his lifelong passion for drawing and visual art, which he attributes to re-emerging in his hometown and reconnecting with his childhood. Stevie's childhood was often filled with time alone to draw, as he was an only child. He attributes his fascination with visual art to visiting many iconic museums and galleries across Europe, through travelling at a young age.
For Stevie, the overarching theme of his work is to create art that enlivens our most intimate parts in a positive way. Emerging from his own desire to be surrounded by positive affirmations to counter the distractions of our noisy world, his art is often overlaid with cues that come from processing his own internal thoughts.
"For me, my art represents the subtle wisdoms of life that are often difficult to embody without being immediately literally reminded of them."
Much of his work is made as a series of precisely layered resin casts, and often contains a foundation of money and gold, which he expresses as a form of therapy to process his own obsessions with our material desires and find a sense of fulfilment. Stylistically, Stevie draws inspiration mainly from Ed Ruscha for his use of text and Jeff Koons for his ability to create incredibly illuminating narratives around his work.
This past year, Stevie Chow was featured in the opening of Lush Art Agency's new gallery in Miami's art district, just before the COVID closing, and in a virtual solo exhibition entitled "Love Out Loud: A Featured Collection By Stevie Chow", also in collaboration with New York-based Lush Art Agency. He is currently working on a virtual solo exhibition in December, titled "The Money Series", and participating in the "Rise Against Extinction Gala", organised by the non-profit organisation I Stand With My Pack, in Los Angeles.