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Art Heist: Steven Allen Shares His Passion with "art hidden in cities around the world"

"I am more likely to just show up in a city, and when I have a piece I want to give away I will set up an Art Heist."

For many, art and music are synonymous.

How often do you find yourself at a festival or a concert where someone is painting along with the music? This is especially prevalent where dance music is housed—festivals, clubs, concerts.

One local Detroit artist has been painting live at festivals and events for quite some time—Steven Allen. He has begun to make a name for himself due to his welcoming nature, which has allowed him to take his passion one step further.

We had the opportunity to chat with Allen about his love for both painting, as well as music, and the extremely unique event that has stemmed because of it.

“I paint live at events all the time and it's a fun way to interact with the people around me. I started painting on Lot and then started sneaking my canvas into shows to paint.”

Steven Allen live painting at a festival

Steven Allen live painting at a festival

After some time, he started getting invitations to these festivals.

“I started getting invited because I was so relentless with my work ethic, promoters were like, we can’t stop him, fuck it give him a ticket and some money.”

So Allen’s history with painting live at shows and festivals across the country is a long one. But back in 2013, Allen and his friend Alexa devised a plan.

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“I was so bored so my friend Alexa and I cooked up this plan to have some fun. I called it Art Heist.”

For those of you not familiar with Art Heist, it is actually a “heist,” so to speak!

“It is my art hidden in cities across the world for anyone to find, heist and keep. Art Heist is ALWAYS 100% free and 100% public!”


His passion for painting (and hiding his paintings for people to find) surpasses just music festivals, however.

“It is random. I am more likely to just show up in a city, and when I have a piece I want to give away I will set up an Art Heist. It has shown up in cities, shows and festivals all over the map. I have heists planned for LA, San Fran and Oakland in August. Detroit gets hit the most because I love Detroit, I love Techno and I get a lot of logistical support in the city.”

So while he has planned various heists around festivals, events and shows, they are truly independent of each other.

“I am and Art Heist is 100% independent without any sponsorship, management, Gallery representation or festival affiliation. I have been making it up as I go. Things can get weird.”

Allen’s passion for painting, for music and for sharing his art has led to such an exquisite event. One that brings both music and art lovers together!

Keep an eye on the Art Heist page to see when Steven Allen will be hiding art in your city!

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