About Stephen Bliss


Following his head-turning solo show, I, Frankenstein at the Monorex Gallery in Los Angeles, Rockstar Games/Grand Theft Auto Senior Artist, Stephen Bliss is to exhibit rare limited edition prints at POP Café/Gallery in Wadebridge.

Entitled In Throbbing Colour, the exhibition will run from Wednesday 26th July to Tuesday 26th September 2017.

All screen prints A1 (841 x 594 mm) £200 . available from 26th July. To Pre order prints contact mike@popcafegallery.co.uk

More images to follow…..

View the embedded image gallery online at:

When not dangling from a harness over the Hudson River, spray painting larger than life murals onto the walls of New York and Miami; creating ad campaigns for global brands like Coca Cola to festoon billboards and bus stops across America; delivering a TEDx talk in Bermuda or designing a poster for cult band, Pixies, Stephen Bliss is ripping down huge chunks of advertising posters from billboards around New York City, collaging them together and painting gangs of female bikers, cartoon characters, pin-up girls and other pop iconography with black ink onto the ripped surfaces.
“To create pieces for my debut exhibition in Los Angeles, I started making palimpsests, which traditionally means reusing or altering something that still bears visible traces of its earlier form. Back in the dark ages, for example, (hundreds of years before Trump), writing would be scraped from medieval parchments and the paper reused. Sometimes, the original text would seep through the surface and create a layered social document,” explains Stephen.

“In the streets of New York City, or on the subway, hoardings and walls are plastered with layer upon layer of advertising posters, graffiti tags, stickers and etched protests,” he adds. “Rips and tears reveal a model’s face from another era; a fractured headline, a random thought. Enthralled by the beauty that emerges from the conflict between evolution and decay, the process of tearing off sections and repurposing them to create harmonious compositions becomes addictive. I imbue these pieces with my own distinctive style – the black line, bright colours and dark imagery peppered with a spiced underbelly of twisted humour that is reminiscent of my iconic early Grand Theft Auto artwork – to show how the everyday urban landscape can be perceived in a more compelling way. These creative experiences have, in turn, inspired my debut in Cornwall, although this show has more humour and is blatantly dark.  There will be a couple of my traditional New York palimpsests but mainly, the prints are experiments in juxtaposing layers of appropriated images: repurposing historical icons and slogans to make something new and dynamic.”

“The opportunity to showcase limited edition prints produced locally from images realised in New York by Stephen Bliss is a creative coup for POP and Cornwall,” adds Mike Polson who runs the quirky North coast gallery with his partner, Emma Griffiths. “A number of prints will be embellished by hand and Stephen will be joining us for the launch on Wednesday 26 July from 7pm, so why not come along and immerse yourself in an experience that blurs the lines between urban and high art, and has the power to simultaneously entertain, transfix, soothe and disturb?”

About Stephen Bliss

As Senior Artist with Rockstar Games from 2001 to 2016, Stephen Bliss helped establish the highly recognizable illustrative style that defined the look, feel and positioning of the gaming mega-franchise Grand Theft Auto. He designed merchandise, painted posters, billboards, video game box covers and magazine covers for GTA and many other successful game titles such as The Warriors, LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption. Bliss also headed Rockstar’s Lifestyle Branding department, creating non-game related imagery and products that helped reinforce Rockstar’s reputation as a creative powerhouse.

Bliss started his career working as in-house designer with Japanese fashion pioneers, Hysteric Glamour in 1986. After four years, Bliss returned to London where he established himself as a freelance illustrator, focusing on painstakingly detailed comic strips; revealing a Japanese influence perfectly meshed with Western culture, and a morbid sense of humor.  He found homes for his quirky design aesthetic at Wall of Sound Records, BMG Records, MTV, Aardman Animation, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, The Cartoon Network, Nintendo, Pepsi, Sony, Burton Snowboards, GQ, the Sunday Times and Massive Attack (No Protection album cover).

In the late ‘90s he moved away from commercial illustration to concentrate on his own personal artwork. He also started a t-shirt company called Steroid, selling his designs through high end fashion stores in UK, Singapore and Japan.

2017 sees Bliss returning to his roots as both a commercial and fine artist. Recent commissions have included huge murals at the Miami Ad School (Queens, NY) and Space 52 recording studio (Miami). In 2016, Bliss completed his first solo show in LA, called ‘I, Frankenstein’, at the Monorex gallery. Bliss is currently creating a new body of work for an exhibition in October at the Westbank gallery in London.