An artists role is to live a remarkable life and report back on it in their work
Andrew J. Steel (b. 1987) is a New Zealand contemporary artist who has produced some of the largest scale public artworks in New Zealand. Steel produces from his studio in from Auckland, New Zealand, but has created work in Los Angeles, Hawaii, across Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Iceland. His work transcends public arts, private interiors, fine artwork, letterpress, body and digital works.
Steel’s early career was expressed as one half of street art duo “BMD”, but separated to pursue his solo career in the arts in 2015. With a change from focusing on large murals, to smaller, more refined interiors and collectible works, and from public to private viewing, this shift portrayed a new direction in work.
Steel’s approach varies across mediums; interior works are conceived largely by creating the work specific for the person & their space, telling personalised narratives through hieroglyphs. Digital works invite collaboration with others, and also allows the artist to explore ideas and make work remotely during sabbaticals. Fine art & public works are largely conceptual and explore wider themes around society, perspective and humour. The work explores graphic & naive compositions and balances meaningful with light subject matters based on the artists experiences throughout his career. Fine art has become the medium where the artist is the most honest, most experimental and where the artist has the most fun.
"An artists role is to live a remarkable life and report back on it in their work. I believe we become a remix of our influences & what happens to us in our lives; our choices & our circumstances. I've been shaped from an early age by the circumstances of a complex family life, house fire & suicide. Respectively, this has defined what relationships, material items and people mean to me. But I have found that what can be hard on the heart, can be good for the art. I choose to make my work as escapism, both for myself & for others seeking comfort through the arts"
- Peoples choice winner, New Zealand Most Creative in Arts, 2017
- BodyLandscape, collaborative photographic exhibition, 2017
- Bronze award, New Zealand Interior Awards, 2014
- Visual Community Services, 2004-present
- Cover design, Metro Magazine, 2018
- BSc & PGDip Environmental science