b. 1968, Brooklyn, New York
Graduating from the school of Art and Design in New York does not even begin to describe Stern Rockwell’s credibility as an artist and this achievement only marks a small part of his journey, both before and after he began to practice painting on the streets of New York. Taking influence from the graffiti he saw on the trains in New York City during his teenage years, his practice now includes this inspiration in his drawings and canvases.
Rockwell is unquestionably a senior and accomplished urban and studio artist having practiced street art, exterior wall painting, and mural art for almost four decades. Known for his characterizations of people, places, and things he has devoted himself to devote his work to representing people, expressions, emotions, and lifestyles through a variety of different mediums. Combining his training and experience in both art and fashion the artist has also taken on numerous projects in the commercial sector throughout the early to the middle part of his career to date.
The artist has painted a large number of public art projects including the world's tallest mural and Asia’s largest wall painting for the Travelodge Hotel chain in Hong Kong in 2018. This feat was particularly outstanding because the artist could only access the façade either from the rooftop or ground floor and utilized a traditional bamboo scaffold structure to free climb the 27-story building.
After studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology for an Associate degree in Textile Surface design, Rockwell worked with textiles and apparel ever since, designing for brands such as Cartier, Christian Dior, Tiffany’s NYC, Calvin Klein Jeans, Akademiks, Rocawear, Ecko Unlimited, Roots Canada and many others.
Having lived and worked in Hong Kong for 10 years the artist has exhibited in several group exhibitions while developing his practice and direction. Having mastered the medium of spray paint and marker pen, the artist also works with acrylic, watercolor on archival paper, oil on canvas, and digital painting. Rockwell also produced artworks in different mediums over the years. In 2017 he delivered a mixed media collaboration with photographer Enrico Gili and these works were exhibited at Fine Art Asia, Hong Kong.
His latest artworks; oil on canvas, demonstrate his prowess as an artist that is capable of mastering any medium that he works in, his artworks vividly portray his signature language that is catchy, distinctly recognizable and that can apply to any narrative, almost like an artistic lexicon that seemingly never ceases to evolve.
In his upcoming new series, Rockwell takes his audience back to New York in the 80s and 90s, bringing back to life his memories of friends and places. Working with abstracted settings, layered and foreshortened with urban surrealist portraits as the subject. Each artwork speaks to his personal experiences, hustling and struggling to grow up as an artist in Brooklyn.
“I want people to recognize themselves, friends, strangers, and objects that they see in everyday life, and allow them a chance to have an old or new experience.” Stern Rockwell
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