An Australian creative powerhouse, Steve is one of the masterminds behind Insight and some of the best campaigns the Surf/Skate industry has ever seen. He has simultaneously created viral imagery while raising the bar of ad campaigns within the action sports industry and quite frankly within the fashion industry as well, creating cultural commentaries and collectible artworks. With iconic artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Kozik, Roy Lichtenstein and Raymond Pettibon hanging on Gorrows’ walls, it isn’t hard to imagine his name one day being among a similar list. His work touches the worlds of pop/fine art, fashion, music, surfing, and cinema, at a level that is hard to resist. And throughout all his professional successes, Steve remains true to himself and his three passions; Family, Surfing and Art.
We sat down with Steve to discuss his latest collaboration, a few guilty pleasures and how he manages to keep it all balanced.
STEVE GORROW | Q&A
Tell me a little about yourself…
Born Nov 1975 in Dee Why, Australia. Still happy and alive now, I suck at bio’s!
Where did it all begin for you?
It all started at a really young age, not sure exactly, but by the time I was ten I was into art and I was doing graffiti with my friends and older brother and drawing things for mates, it was my thing way back then.
What inspires you most in life?
So hard to put it down to one thing, it’s more a combination of a lot of great things; nature, paradise, art, music, love, family, friends, good times, bad times and just life in general really.
With all the things that you have going on, how do you balance your work and home life?
I seem to work from project to project these days. I will work hard and focus on each project as it comes then I will take a break and enjoy just being and then the next project seems to hit me again. I guess it’s just a balance of your attention and intention, and for me both work and home life seem to be blurred anyway as my art is such a big love that it feels like home more than work.
What are your biggest challenges?
Creating things with no funding; The balance of new ideas without the support of cash and trying to bring them into existence on the smell of an oily rag, that’s my biggest challenge. To rise above the limit that money puts on me and my ideas and where I want to go in my life.
What’s one guilty pleasure you can’t live without?
Coffee, but I am guilty of everything.
Describe your perfect weekend?
Coffee, surfing perfect waves with good friends and playing with my little angel.
CRAWFORD X GORROW
You recently did a collaboration with Justin Crawford and some of his fathers photographs from the 70’s, tell me a little bit about that…how did that project end up coming together?
Yeah that was something I have been trying to do for a long time. I have always loved the early 1970’s of surfing and I have always tried to mess around with the old photos, laying art over the top, mixing albums covers, just trying lots of things. Then one day I was just fooling around with more art and ideas, and I kind of got something that I really liked and I just called Justin up and said ‘Hey you wanna do this exhibition together, here’s some of the art I have been playing around with what do you think?’ So it started like that and then grew into clothing as well.
What did you want to covey through the pieces?
That it wasn’t all folk back then, that there was this amazing explosion of creativity in surfing and it was matched with art and music of the times. It was truly the wildest time in surfing’s history and I wanted to celebrate that and pay homage to the guys of those times, the true legends of surfing. So this is an ode to Peter Crawford and those times as he road shotgun with the best of them and also an inkling into what I would love to do next.
What are the plans for the collection?
Hopefully the plan is that it is well received and people like and enjoy it. Hopefully it makes the Crawford Foundation some money so they can get their Dad’s photos out of the garage and into collectors’ homes.
What’s next for Insight?
Its campaign time now so we are busy on that and we are also moving into some cool home-wares, so working on the first collection while the rest of the team is working on the main range.