‘The Black Ocean’ is the first instalment in a series of oil paintings from Issue 30 feature and long-term visual artist, Steve Cross.
Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Steve relocated to Melbourne in 1999 to pursue a career in tattooing. In the ensuing years he honed his craft, cementing a reputation as one of the country’s best artists.
In 2007 he opened his own shop, the acclaimed Korpus Studio, in Brunswick. But he never lost the love for his first creative passion – graffiti.
Steve has been painting walls both nationally and internationally since 1988. In that time he has created hundreds of large-scale murals, showcasing his varied style and passion for street art.
While both these careers have seen his artwork showcased very publicly – on walls, and skin – this is the first time Steve has exhibited any of his oil paintings.
This selection has been worked on over the past three months, in private, and away from inquisitive eyes. As such, this first selection of work is deeply personal, and perhaps the most revealing of all Steve’s mediums.
The Black Ocean represents Steve’s obsession and compulsion to create; the paintings representative of the internal struggle an artist encounters when immersing themselves fully in the creative process – and the isolation that brings.
The subjects are caught in moments of internal disquiet – floating and falling into an endless ocean of inky blackness.”
Leading up to this, Steve’s first solo show, he took some time out with Damo to talk about ‘The Black Ocean’
This is your first solo show. What made you decide now was the time to bite the bullet (or jump into the black ocean as it may be)?
It’s been a bit of a natural progression to get to this point. I’ve been a part of a lot of group shows since my first in 1988. I’m at a stage now where I guess I’m ready to expose this hidden part of my life. I keep my ‘artist cards’ pretty close to my chest, and I mostly toil away on my own. But it feels like the right time for people to start seeing some of my more personal work, and The Black Ocean is a record of that.