Steve Upton

“..not too much purple prose in the written passage please!” was Steve’s message to me before writing this. Providing an insight into this powerful Beverley based painters’ character. It is also an excuse for me to preface this profile on him with words of his own.


Born in Cleethorpes, Steve attended Grimsby School of Art, followed by Maidstone and then Manchester University, after which he went on to teach in Nuneaton for over thirty years. Exhibiting widely in the Midlands before settling in the East Riding in 2004.

The first painting I saw of Steve’s, was ‘Tattoo Man’. And it stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know I could be so mesmerised by a brick wall, with all it’s scratches and daubings from other would be graphic artists. Who’s typographic efforts are less practised but as eager to leave their mark the best way they can.

The subject wears his ‘paid for’ graphic art with more obvious pride, standing as a living canvas to his own self expression. (As is the way today).

Yes I feel the edgy Englishness, but I also see a more universal identity. We could be in London, Paris, Berlin or New York. Only the tiny clues in the graffiti betray the cultural origins.

If I were a British Rock God from the Midlands (Ozzie!), or an L.A. movie producer from the hood made good, I would want a Portrait by Steve Upton against the backdrop of my urban origins.

He is a figurative artist reflecting his time, his people and the places he sees with a vibrant palette and keen eye.

But will people really want the brick walls, the graffiti, the street furniture and the brightly coloured man made objects that we see so often but pass by, in their own art collections?

As lovers of contemporary, figurative art, of course you will.

For the first time his paintings are available as Fine Art Giclée prints on Paper (A2 size) and on Canvas (90 cm shortest side, supplied on a roll).



Steve was born in Cleethorpes in 1947. He attended Grimsby School of Art (1964-67), followed by Maidstone School of Art (1966-69). He then did a year at Manchester University (1970-71) after which he taught for over thirty years in Nuneaton, Warwichshire. During this time he exhibited widely throughout the Midlands. Moving to Beverley in the East Riding in 2004.


East Yorkshire Open – Beverley Art Gallery

  • 2004 – Group
  • 2006 – Group
  • 2009 – Group


Beverley Art Gallery

  • 2006 – Solo


Sewerby Hall – Bridlington

  • 2006 – Solo


20/21 Arts Centre – Scunthorpe

  • 2006 – Solo


Ferens Open Exhibition – Hull

  • 2007 – Group
  • 2008 – Group


Brahms Gallery – Leeds

  • 2007 – Solo


Artlink Gallery – Hull

  • 2008 – Solo


Biscuit Gallery – Newcastle

  • 2008 – Group


Gate Gallery – Grimsby

  • 2007 – Solo
  • 2007,8,9 – Group. Portrait of Molly purchased by the Franklin Foundation Public Collection


Beverley Art Gallery

  • 2006 – Group. Winner of the Elwell Landscape Painting Competition (Sponsored by the BBC)


South St. Gallery – Scarborough

  • 2008 – ‘Branching Out’ Group


‘Humber to the Wash’ Open Exhibition – Rope Walk Centre, Barton upon Humber

    July 2009 – Group, Prize Winner


Affordable Art Fair – London

  • March 2009 & 2010


20/21 Youth/Culture/Alienation – Scunthorpe

  • 2010 – Group


Artlink Gallery – Hull

  • 2011 – Communication Group


‘Humber to the Wash’ Open Exhibition – Rope Walk Centre, Barton upon Humber

  • 2011 – Group, Highly Commended



The images below represent all the works that an Artist has provided exclusively to The 1 Gallery for the Limited Edition production of Giclée prints. You can click on any image to view a slide show of all the images (click the little magnifying glass icon) or go to the detailed information (click the little square with arrow icon) where you will have the opportunity to purchase online with the Add to Cart button.