Steve Ellis, (born 1970 in Washington DC,) is a New York based multimedia artist specializing in oil painting and sculpture, using and subverting pop culture iconography to explore consumerism, false idols and the death of print media. Ellis has taken American flotsam such as crashed cars, cigarette lighters, and broken high heels shoes elevated them to high art.

His long list of exhibitions in galleries starts with a 2001 showing of lighters in Colin De Land’s American Fine Arts in New York. Besides gallery walls, Ellis’ work has been commissioned by Zoo York skateboards, for the credit sequence for the film The Others, album covers for the band Luna, and most recently for the hit show At Home with Amy Sedaris. Besides paying tribute to pop culture, his work Is pop culture.

Steve Ellis has worked closely in his Lower East Side art community for over two decades curating group shows in his alternative art spaces. He co-created the portrait project Ignited New York and more recently designed and received a New York Acker Award box in 2018. Ellis is an adjunct professor at School of Visual Arts and teaches drawing to inmates at Rikers Island.

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2020 MAY: Drop Top Ice Cream Paint Job, curated by Steve Ellis @ The Classic Car Club of Manhattan, NY  (Postponed)
  • 2020 FEBRUARY: Art Fair Decadence, group show curated by Marcus Glitteris @The Theatre for the New City
  • 2019 SEPTEMBER: Claryville Arts Festival, curated by Karen Vartanov @ Claryville Art Center, NY
  • 2018: “HOTSPOTPOPSHOP”, Stephen David Ellis, Doerte Fitschen-Rath, Michelle Dean Kaminer, Art on A, NY
  • 2018: “Philly Abe’s, This Side of Heaven” (8SS Fanatic Voyage painting and speaking engagement) @ Howl! Gallery, NY
  • 2017: “Outhouse Show” @ The Jerry Lee Williams Gallery / MO David North, Church of the Little Green Man, NY
  • 2016: “1001 Nights of DADA”, curated by Roman Primitivo Albear, The Stand Gallery, NY
  • 2016: “FRUIT”, LaLaLand Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2016: “New York New York”, 212Arts Gallery, NY
  • 2015: “Closed Circuit”, curated Carlo McCormick, The Clemente Abrazo Gallery, NY
  • 2015: “All Together Different”, curated by Linda Griggs and Yona Verwer, Manny Cantor, NY
  • 2014: “Bowery Mission Benefit Auction” @ New Museum, NY
  • 2014: “CUTLOG Art Fair”, The Clemente, NYC
  • 2014: “The Rent Show Extended”, ABC No Rio, NYC
  • 2014: “Conde Nast Lobby Show”, curated Janusz Jaworski, 4 Times Square, NYC
  • 2013: “Ponds, Mirrors and Kaleidoscopes” curated by Thomas Woodruff, SVA alumni show
  • 2013: “Surge Protection”, New Museum New Ideas Biennial Event, gallery nine5, NY
  • 2013: “Fun House (part 1)”, Truth & Beauty Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2012: “Art Southampton Fair”, gallery nine5 booth, Southampton, NY
  • 2012: “Nosebleed”, curated by Erik Foss, Fuse Gallery, NYC
  • 2011: “The Armory Show”, “Tools of the Craft” paintings in VIP lounges, NYC
  • 2011: “Art Machine” by Alife, The Hole Gallery, NYC
  • 2010: “Manifest Destiny” gallery nine5, NYC (solo)
  • 2010: “Neointegrity II”, curated by Keith Mayerson, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC
  • 2010: “Imaging the Apple” AC Institute, NYC
  • 2009: “Talking Trash” gallery nine5, NYC (solo)
  • 2009: “+2” Sloan Fine Art, NYC
  • 2009: “One Night Stand Anonymous Show” Envoy Gallery, NYC
  • 2008: “LouvreFritos” CuchiFritos Gallery, NYC
  • 2008: “Governor’s Island Independent Art Fair”, NYC
  • 2007: “American Contemporary” Webb’s Gallery, New Zealand
  • 2007: “Week of Warhol”, Gershwin Hotel, NYC
  • 2006: “A Piece Apart”, Aidan Savoy Gallery, NYC
  • 2005: “A Pop Culture Horror Show Made Safe on Canvas”, B.A.I.R.E. Gallery, NYC (solo)
  • 2004: “Surface 2 Air Installation”, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2003: “The Atrocity Exhibition”, Clampart, NYC
  • 2003: “Wild Nights: Remembering Colin De Land”, CB’s Gallery, NYC
  • 2002: “The Meaning of Style”, curated by Anne Ellegood, Brooklyn Front, NYC
  • 2001: “Pieter Schoolwerth / Steve Ellis”, American Fine Arts, NYC


Download Press

Work Experience

1997-PRESENT: Adjunct Professor, School of Visual Arts, NYC


1994: School of Visual Arts, BFA