Tyler "Sour Steve" Stephens Official Dossier

"The collage art of Tyler "Sour Steve" Stephens continues to reveal new connections upon each study and poses many interesting questions about the reality of our world today and how we got here. The complexity of the many collage elements and references to well-known pop culture images surprise and intrigue." - Jenna Bailey


Tyler “Sour Steve” Stephens (born October 30th, 1996) is the quintessential DIY artist of our time. Originally a punk rock one-man-band from West Virginia, Sour Steve got his start in visual arts designing album covers and insert artwork for his music and in doing so found his true artistic calling in the primary medium of collage. As a DIY expert with no formal training in the arts, Tyler took it upon himself to study the works of the great surrealist artists of our time including Max Ernst, Dali, Picasso as well as the politically-charged antifascist collage artwork of the 1930's Dada movement became a large inspiration for the artist. 

Sour Steve has been assembling intricate, thought-provoking, hand-crafted collage artworks since 2019. By combining vintage pre-war and post-war adverts from the early 19th century up into the late 1950’s with more modern imagery of our current political/social landscape, Sour Steve’s artwork challenges the viewer to confront the ugly incongruities and hypocrisy of our modern society. Nothing is sacred in the surrealist landfill of Sour Steve: the embodiment of hope for a continuing punk tradition of sabotaging and repurposing propaganda to draw (or cut) truth from the lie.

In 2020, Sour Steve became the youngest artist in the California punk art collective: 

Destroy Art. Together, the team use art as activism to fight off bigotry, hatred, and injustice as seen fit and use their talents to promote love, empowerment and community. The artwork of Sour Steve has been featured in two fanzines both published by Destroy Art. Sour Steve has also won numerous art competitions across the Southeast and has participated in art exhibitions around the state of North Carolina and two group exhibitions in San Francisco, California. 

Today, Tyler's artwork is currently made out of the unofficial: Sour Steve Studios in Asheville, NC. He is frequently involved in the local art and punk scene most notably in the River Arts District. Although his art career has slowed down a bit as he focuses most of his energy on establishing himself in a new city as well as the struggles of opening up his own official art studio, he still continues to create thought-provoking, creative works regularly with many more ideas and projects to come in the future! 



Art Exhibitions


Eat Your Heart Out” Online Group Exhibition curated by Market of the Beast ~ Feb. 2021


May Day!” Online Group Exhibition curated by Market of the Beast ~ May 2021


All Riot on the Western Front” Solo Exhibition curated by Caldwell Arts Council - Lenoir, NC ~ April 2022


Fallout: Grand Opening” Group Exhibition curated by Destroy Art - San Francisco, CA ~ May 2022


Look Ma, No Head!” Group Exhibition curated by Destroy Art - San Francisco, CA ~ Oct. 2022


"All Abstract" Group Exhibition curated by 311 Gallery - Raleigh, NC ~ March 2023


"Extinction-2023" Online Group Exhibition curated by Gallerium Exhibitions ~ April 2023


"Life And Death" Online Group Exhibition curated by Gallerium Exhibitions ~ May 2023


"Summer Feels" Online Group Exhibition curated by HMVC Gallery-New York ~ July 2023


Competitions


Annual Arts Competition curated by Trade Alley Arts - Hickory, NC ~ Oct. 2021 

*Honorable Mention*


Visual Arts Competition curated by Caldwell Arts Council - Lenoir, NC ~ Dec. 2021 

*Best of Show*


Open Arts Competition curated by Rock School Arts - Valdese, NC ~ Aug. 2022

*Honorable Mention*


Annual Arts Competition curated by Trade Alley Arts - Hickory, NC ~ Oct. 2022

*Honorable Mention*


ArtIDEAL Magazine Cover Contest curated by Circle Foundation - Online (June 2023) *Finalist*


Open Arts Competition curated by Rock School Arts - Valdese, NC ~Aug. 2023 *Honorable Mention*


Commission Work


Live Dirty” Skateboard Deck Design commissioned by Live Dirty Skateboards ~ Dec. 2020


Live Dirty II” Skateboard Deck Design commissioned by Live Dirty Skateboards ~ July 2021


Sportz (Fun with Balls)” Art Design commissioned by anonymous art patron ~ May 2021


A Question of Authority” Fanzine Art commissioned by Destroy Art ~ Dec. 2022


Discography


Sour Steve's Age of Disconnection - Album cover/reverse + insert artwork ~ Dec. 2019


Sour Steve's Life in a Cage - Album cover/reverse + insert artwork ~ Oct. 2020


Sour Steve's All Natural, Organic Delirium! Album cover/reverse + insert artwork - June 2021


Dead Fucking Serious's Klandemic - Lyric book artwork ~ Sept. 2021



Videography 


EMP Over DC Official Music Video - Sour Steve Music Video. Edited + Published ~ Dec. 2019


Rest in Profits Official Music Video - Sour Steve Music Video. Edited + Published ~ July 2020


DK Barbed Wire Promo - Destroy Art Social media promo. Edited + Published ~ Feb. 2021


Publications


Destroy Everything Issue #1 fanzine published by Destroy Art ~ June 2021


Cut, Paste, Destroy-Destroy Everything Issue #2 fanzine published by Destroy Art ~ Dec 2021


Artistonish: Visual Arts Magazine Issue #32 published by Discover the Artist ~ March 2023